After recording a 4.1 per cent economic growth in 2022, North Africa is to experience a faster economic growth rate of 4.6 per cent in 2023 according to a report by the African Development Bank (AfDB).
In the economic outlook report published on July 27, the Pan-African Bank stated that the service sector, in particular trade and tourism was driving the growth.
Factors such as global prices of fossil fuels, the structure of trade, tourism and foreign direct investments will shape the region’s external position, according to AfDB.
However, the Group’s Regional Regional Economist for North Africa Verdier-Chouchane noted that there are disparities in the growth rates of individual countries in the region.
In addition, AfDB projected that budget deficits for countries in North Africa will be 3.5 per cent of their economies while inflation rate is set to hit double digits in 2023 and later fall to 6.9 per cent in 2024.
North Africa to benefit from AfCTA
In its recommendations, AfDB advised countries in North Africa to speed up the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTA) as a way of promoting intra-African trade and Investments.
Furthermore, the multilateral lender urged stakeholders in North Africa to prioritize green growth by maximizing investments in green Projects.
According to the report, investing in the green economy will guarantee the countries sustainable economic growth and help in reducing poverty levels in the region.
“North African countries should therefore invest in the sustainable management of natural capital to create an additional financing option for climate-related and green growth initiatives, which will contribute to reducing poverty and inequality, and supporting job creation and sustainable economic growth,” the report read in part.
It also singled out public debt as a major concern with the bank advising countries to consider transparent allocation of debt funding and restructuring of struggling public corporations.
Egypt, Algeria and Morocco remain to be the stand out economies in the region with a GDP totaling over $800 billion.