Harare – The IMF forecasts the economy in Southern Africa to grow by 2.7 percent this year and 2.9 percent in 2022, according to projections in the Regional Economic Outlook for Sub-Saharan Africa (“Navigating a Long Pandemic”).
Across Sub-Saharan Africa, growth is projected at 3.4 percent in 2021.
Botswana is expected to experience the largest growth in the Southern Africa region (7.5 percent), followed by Mauritius (6.6 percent), Lesotho (3.5 percent), the DRC and Madagascar (both 3.2 percent), and South Africa and Zimbabwe (both 3.1 percent).
Growth in Tanzania is projected at 2.7 percent while that of Namibia is estimated at 2.6 percent. Other projected growth figures are Malawi 2.2 percent, Mozambique 2.1 percent, Zambia 0.6 percent and Angola 0.4 percent.
The IMF says COVID-19 will continue to cause economic uncertainty.
“The welcome global recovery in 2021, however, will be less even-handed. Many advanced economies have secured enough vaccine doses to cover their own populations many times over and are looking to the second half of the year with a renewed sense of hope.
“In Africa, however, with limited purchasing power and few options, many countries will be struggling to simply vaccinate their essential frontline workers this year, and few will achieve widespread availability before 2023,” reads part of the executive summary of the report.
While the recovery in advanced economies will be driven to a large extent by policy support in the form of trillions of US dollars in stimulus packages, such costly options are not available to developing countries.
The IMF recommended that beyond specific revenue and spending measures, “authorities can also maximise fiscal space by improving their fiscal frameworks—a medium term framework that credibly balances the need for short-term support with medium-term consolidation can contain borrowing costs and sustain confidence”.