Economic growth is set to slow in Sub-Saharan Africa to 3.7 percent this year from 4.6 percent in 2014, its weakest pace since 2009, mainly due to the drop in commodity prices, the World Bank has said in its latest Africa Pulse report. Joel Flynn reports.
Of all the global efforts to use clean energy, Africa's might be more needed than most. This solar power being used in Nigeria is just one business where it's crucial - on a continent where electricity access is hampering growth. New World Bank projections for Africa see economic growth slowing to just 3.7 percent this year. That's compared to 4.6 percent in 2014. World Bank economist Punam Chuhan Pole wrote the report on "Africa's Pulse" SOUNDBITE: Africa's Pulse Report Author And World Bank Africa Acting Chief Economist, Punam Chuhan Pole, saying (English): "The Pulse finds that with weaker global market conditions, underpinned by sharply lower commodity prices, as well as a slowdown of growth in China, and tightening global financing conditions, all these factors are weighing down on Sub Saharan Africa's growth." The report found that the continent will strengthen only marginally in the next two years. The global lull in commodity prices has hit Africa particularly hard. Oil producers like Angola and Nigeria, as well as producers of minerals and metals like Botswana and Mauritania have all been hit by falling prices. Makhtar Diop is also from the World Bank. SOUNDBITE: World Bank Africa Region Vice President, Makhtar Diop, saying (English): "We are still exporting a lot of raw materials. So creating the value chain inside Africa, removing the non-tariff barrier, reducing the bureaucracy, will allow us to improve the value chain and increase value addition in Africa." While overall growth might be down, one area where Africa is shining more brightly is the fight against poverty. The Bank estimates that Sub-Saharan Africa saw poverty levels decrease from 56 percent in 1990 to 43 percent in 2012. Now it thinks that rate of decrease is getting faster.