The third strongest economy in Africa according to the International Monetary fund – Ethiopia, will grow three times faster than its nearest rival – Nigeria in 2019 the fund believes. 

It made this prediction in its regional outlook for the continent on Friday. 

The fund expects the Nigerian economy to grow at a rate of 2.3 per cent in 2019 and 2.5 per cent in 2020, while Ethiopia’s will soar by an impressive 7.4 per cent.

In what is a warning to Nigeria that it is delaying its long-touted diversification away from oil, the report notes that countries, who are not resource intensive are expected to grow at an average of six per cent this year, which is almost three times faster than the continent’s oil producers and more than twice as fast as other raw material dependent economies. 

IMF predicts that the largest economy in Africa – South Africa, will be the most sluggish economy in the continent, growing at a pace of 0.7 per cent in 2019 and 1.1 per cent in 2020. 

Generally, it anticipates that the African economy will strengthen by 3.2 per cent in 2019 and 3.5 per cent in 2020 – a more generous outlook than the World Bank’s.

“What we’ve seen overall in the region is, by and large, debt levels beginning to stabilise,” Director of the IMF’s African Department, Abebe Aemro Selassie, informed Reuters. 

The report also noted that the trade spat between the world’s biggest economies – China and the United States of America, is hamstringing Africa’s economic progress.

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