Uganda is on course to posting the largest economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa this year despite being marred by the Covid-19 shock, according to World Bank’s latest projections.
Uganda’s economy is forecasted to expand by 3.3 percent in 2020, which is a slowdown compared to a 6.5 percent growth recorded last year. This is according to the latest World Bank report – Global Economic Prospects.
Despite the downturn, Uganda’s 3.3 percent growth is set to be Africa’s best performance this year as the whole continent reels from the coronavirus shock that has hamstrung businesses and paralyzed lifestyles and movements as a result of travel curbs.
After Uganda, Benin and Ethiopia are expected to tie in the second position, each with a 3.2 percent projected growth in 2020. Ethiopia has been growing at a fast clip over the past decade, with its gross domestic product (GDP) expanding by nine percent last year.
Last year, Rwanda posted the biggest economic expansion in Africa of 9.4 percent, and is expected to cool down to just two percent this year, weakened by the virus.
On the opposite end, Seychelles, an Indian Ocean archipelago almost completely dependent on tourism, is set to post the worst performance this year, with the economy expected to contract to – (minus) 11.1 percent. The island nation grew by 3.8 percent last year. This highlights the fact that is has taken the biggest hit from the virus that has grounded flights over the past three months.
Also at the bottom of the list is Zimbabwe whose economy is expected to sink to – (minus) 10 percent.
Oil-rich Angola and Equatorial Guinea have stuck in a recession since 2017, buffeted by commodity price crash over the recent years amid soaring debt. Equatorial Guinea, considered a high-income economy based on GDP per capita, is forecasted to shrink to – (minus) 8.4 percent this year compared to last year’s contraction of – (minus) 6.2 percent.
Overall, the World Bank forecasts that sub-Saharan Africa is headed for a 2.8 percent contraction in 2020 before making a recovery of a 3.1 percent growth in 2021. Bouncing back will depend on how fast and effective the economies manage to contain the deadly bug that originated in Wuhan before spreading out to all corners of the globe.