Africa will perform better than global expectations this decade but its two biggest economies may slow down growth.

Following quite a great year for a few African economies, 2020 won’t be any different as more African countries are expected to perform above average GDP growth and ascend the ranks as some of the world’s fastest growing. It is expected that for the first half of the decade, economic growth across Africa will continue to outperform that of other regions. Brookings Institution’s annual Foresight Africa report took a deep glance at the average economic growth forecasts for the next five years till 2024 and Senegal (8.3%), Rwanda (7.9%), Niger (7.3% ), Uganda (7.2%) and Mozambique (6.9%) are positioned to be the five fastest growing over that period.

Even though it’s a great news for many of these countries and their allies, Africa’s overall economic growth will still be slowed down by its two largest economies, Nigeria (2.5%) and South Africa (1.1%). Both countries need to do much more and take drastic measures to reform their economic climate to avoid another ‘bad’ year.

According to the report, Africa has a $16 billion opportunity if its countries fully implement the African Continental Free Tree Agreement (AfCFTA) and the continent’s aggregate GDP could jump to $3 trillion by 2030 from $2.1 trillion today. Collective action among African and global policymakers to improve the livelihoods of all under the blueprint of the Sustainable Development Goals and the African Union’s Agenda 2063 is representative of the shared energy and excitement around Africa’s potential.

Quartz reports that while these forecasts are promising, most economists and investors are paying more attention to how the reality of climate change will impact their economic prognostications. Brookings highlights research which shows lowered crop yields, lower labor and agricultural productivity and damage to human health due to climate change will significantly decrease GDP in Africa. Global temperatures rising as much as 3°C by 2100 would have a disproportionate impact on Africa with aggregate GDP potentially dropping by as much as 8.6% after that year.

Richard Ogundiya

Journalist & Techpreneur. Africa, communications and data.

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