Sharma El Sheikh, Egypt 25th May, 2023 (AEJ) – The African Economic Outlook report 2023 published by the African Development Bank Group has stressed that African countries are dealing with multiple shocks, including the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, disruptions to global supply chains due to Russia’s prolonged invasion of Ukraine and a tightening of global financing conditions.
These shocks coupled with the threats caused by climate change have reduced the continent’s real Gross Domestic Product growth from 4.8 percent in 2021 to 3.8 percent in 2022. However, African economies remain resilient, with average growth projected to stabilize at 4.1 percent in 2023–24.
The report released in the Egyptian resort city of Sharm El Sheikh is subject to significant downside risks, including i) subdued global growth weighing on Africa’s exports, persistence of tight global financial conditions exacerbating debt servicing costs; ii) significant losses and damages due to frequent extreme weather events exacerbating fiscal pressures; iii) the prolongation of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which is increasing global uncertainty; and iv) persistent disruptions to global supply chains.
Speaking after unveiling the report Professor Kevin Urama, AfDB Vice President in Charge of AfDB economics affairs told the media the report underscores the urgency to fast-track climate action and green transitions to drive the continent’s inclusive and sustainable development.
Urama flanked by senior members of the bank was quick to point the glaring loopholes in global climate finance. This has made exposed populations on the continent to more shocks especially from extreme weather events such as floods and droughts to be more vulnerable.
“We must underscore the urgency of increasing reforms in the global financing as a result of climate change. Africa emits less than 4 percent of the greenhouse gases. Why is the financing not going to the continent adaptation initiatives as part of loss and damage,” asked Urama during a presser while calling for reforms to be instituted at a global level. In her response to the shocks such as cyclone Freddy that caused major devastation in Malawi recently Vanessa Ushie, AfDB Acting Director of African Natural Resources Management and Investment Center advised the need to address environmental degradation as a way of cushioning the shocks.
“It should be noted that without landscape restoration and protecting ecosystems local communities will be more vulnerable to the effects of climate change,” explained Ushie. Urama urged African countries to resort to climate smart development and ensure climate resilient structures that can withstand extreme weather events.
“There is a need to take a new way of development that is climate resilient. We must climate proof development projects as the effects of climate change are here to stay,” Urama offered advice. The theme of the 2023 African Economic Outlook is, “Mobilizing Private Sector Financing for Climate and Green Growth in