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Africa’s Long Post-COVID Climb

While Africa shared in last year’s global economic upswing, a growing array of risks threatens to derail the region’s progress in 2022. The crucial question is whether the world’s leading central banks can pursue price stability without choking off the incipient global recovery.

CAIRO – Despite the many lingering negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the world economy bounced back in 2021, recording one of the strongest and most synchronized post-recession recoveries in decades. But while Africa shared in this upswing, an increasing array of risks threaten to derail the region’s economic progress in 2022.

The global economy grew by 5.9% last year, and in January the International Monetary Fund forecast 4.4% growth in 2022. Africa rebounded well in 2021 from its first recession in a quarter-century, with aggregate output increasing by 5.1%. The IMF predicts regional GDP growth of 3.9% in 2022.

In a sign of post-crisis normalization, tourism-dependent economies are likely to be Africa’s fastest growing in 2022. The island states of Cabo Verde, Mauritius, and the Seychelles are each expected to grow by more than 6%; the Seychelles forecasts Africa-leading 7.7% growth.

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