AfDB: Africa’s GDP growth seen at pre-economic crisis levels

African economies will grow 4.5 percent this year and 5 percent in 2016 due to rising demand for exports, the highest levels since the global economic crisis took hold in 2007, the African Development Bank (AfDB) said.

Financial inflows will increase nearly 7 percent to $193 billion, supported by higher foreign direct investment and a spike in portfolio investments, the bank said in its annual African Economic Outlook report.

The AfDB estimates African economies to have grown by 3.9 percent in 2014. In the years prior to the economic crisis, African economic growth averaged between 5-7 percent.

Improving economic prospects worldwide will increase demand for the continent's exports, the report released at the opening of the bank's annual meetings in Abidjan, Ivory Coast said.

But the rebound is expected to be uneven.

"Growth remains highest in East, West and Central Africa, respectively and lowest in North and Southern Africa. The main challenges in all regions are to diversify and make growth more inclusive," the report stated.

Foreign direct investment is expected to reach $55.2 billion this year up from an estimated $49.5 billion in 2014.

Portfolio investments will jump more than 36 percent to $18.4 billion this year from an estimated $13.5 billion in 2014.

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