The African Development Bank (AfDB) projects positive economic growth for Ghana and its neighbouring West African countries by the end of 2023, despite slow growth in the previous year. According to AfDB, West Africa‘s average Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth decelerated to 3.8 per cent in 2022 from 4.4 per cent in 2021, indicating a slowdown in growth recovery from the 2020 downturn.
However, the recent economic outlook by AfDB suggests that the region's GDP growth is expected to slightly pick up in the medium term, with a projected growth rate of 3.9 per cent in 2023 and 4.2 per cent in 2024, assuming a decline in global inflation.
AfDB attributes the growth to household consumption and investment, as well as increased activities in emerging economies such as China, which will drive demand.
On the supply side, agriculture, industry, and services are expected to be the key drivers of growth in the region.
The report, launched on July 27 under the theme “Mobilizing private sector financing for climate change and green growth in Africa,” also highlighted climate change vulnerabilities in the West African region.
Four out of the 15 countries in the region, namely Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Liberia, and Niger, were ranked among the top 10 most vulnerable countries to climate change and environmental hazards in the world.
The report stressed the need for businesses and governments to prioritize sustainable and green growth. It highlighted the potential for the region to achieve green growth and industrialization by utilizing natural capital and complementary financing options for climate and green growth.
Professor Kevin Urama, Vice President for Economic Governance and Knowledge Management at AfDB, emphasized the challenges facing African countries, including rising interest rates, debt service payments, climate change, inflation, and disruption of supply chains.
He called for greater efforts in mobilizing domestic resources and private sector financing to facilitate climate and green growth transitions in Africa.
The report assessed the economic performance of 15 West African countries, including Benin, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Côte d'Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo.