After an extended period of strong economic growth, many sub-Saharan African countries have been hit by multiple shocks – the sharp decline in commodity prices, tighter financing conditions and a severe drought in southern and eastern Africa. Growth fell in 2015 to its lowest level in some 15 years and is expected to slow further to 3 percent in 2016. The growth performance, however, differs across countries, with most oil importers faring reasonably well.
On June 9, IMF African Department Director Antoinette Sayeh presented the IMF’s Regional Economic Outlook for sub-Saharan Africa, which argues that the region’s medium-term prospects remain favorable but that many countries urgently need to reset their policies to reinvigorate growth and realize this potential. To this end, she elaborated on how countries should both adjust their macroeconomic policies in the short run, and refocus policies to facilitate structural transformation and export diversification, so as to strengthen resilience and boost growth.
After the presentation, Steven Radelet and Amadou Sy joined Dr. Sayeh for a panel discussion moderated by Reed Kramer.