Nigeria: Real GDP growth in West Africa to be higher in 2015 despite Ebola

Abuja, Nigeria (PANA) - Economic growth in the West African sub-region in 2015 is expected to be impressive despite the impact of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) which is currently ravaging some countries in the region, a senior West African official has said.

''With regards to the economic situation in the sub-region, real GDP growth is expected to reach 7.1% in 2015, as against 6.3% in 2014,'' said the Chair of the ECOWAS Council of Ministers, Hanna Serwaa Tetteh.

''This compares favourably with Eastern and Southern African regions whose growth rates in 2915 are projected at 6.2% and 4.4% respectively,'' PANA Wednesday quoted him as saying at the ongoing 73rd session of the Council at the ECOWAS Commission headquarters in Abuja, the Nigerian capital.

Tetteh said Nigeria alone accounts for 78% of the ECOWAS GDP, apparently because of the country's emergence as the biggest economy in Africa following the rebasing of its economy.

The Council chair lamented that the impact of the EVD is most felt in the three worst hit nations of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone - all members of the 15-member ECOWAS.

Real GDP growth projections for 2014 decreased or stood at 2.4% (Guinea), 4.5% (Liberia) and 7.1% (Sierra Leone) as against 2.5% (Guinea), 8.1% (Liberia) and 13% (Sierra Leone) in 2013.

''This is based on the expectation that the epidemic will be contained by the end of  December 2014,'' Tetteh said.

The GDP reduction in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone are due to a combination of factors, notably significant reduction in mining operations, disruption of agricultural cycles, restrictions to domestic and cross-border trade, substantial reduction of air travel, postponement of already negotiated or foreseeable investments and the inability to pursue initiated reforms.
-0- PANA SEG/VAO 10Dec2014

10 december 2014 15:16:21

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