The World Bank expects the global economy to expand by 5.6% in 2021 due to a strong recovery in major economies like the US (6.8%) and China (8.5%). This will be the fastest post-pandemic growth in 80 years. The multilateral agency noted that emerging markets and developing economies will continue to struggle with the aftermath of the pandemic.
Fourteen African countries have reported an upward trend in COVID infections. In the last week, eight countries recorded over 30% spike in new infections. Uganda alone recorded a 131% (wo-w) rise in COVID cases. This led to the re-imposition of strict lockdown for six weeks including the closure of schools, shutdown of weekly open markets and suspension of church services and inter-district travels.
The renewed spike in infections in Africa can be largely attributed to the inadequate supply of vaccines. Only about 10% of the high-risk groups have been vaccinated unlike in the advanced economies where almost 100% of the high-priority groups have been inoculated.
The SSA region is expected to grow by 2.8% in 2021 and 3.3% in 2022 due to the slow pace of expansion in dominant economies: South Africa (3.5%), Nigeria (1.8%) and Angola (0.5%). Nigeria's real GDP growth will be driven by higher oil prices, structural reforms in the oil sector and a market-based flexible exchange rate regime. The likelihood of slow growth for Nigeria is due to a slow rate of vaccinations, insecurity, a potential sharp drop in oil prices and a spike in inflation. The economy is not expected to return to pre-pandemic levels until the end of 2022.