In West Africa Ghana economy expands at slowest pace in 20 years; in the East Kenya growth stutters

The cedi was Africa’s worst-performing currency, against the dollar in 2014, and slowing agriculture dragged down Kenya’s 2014 4th quarter growth.

GHANA’S economic growth slid to the slowest pace in two decades last year as oil prices plunged and a domestic energy crisis cut the electricity supply nationwide.

Gross domestic product (GDP) expanded 4% in 2014, from 7.3% the previous year, Philomena Nyarko, an official from the Ghana Statistical Service, told reporters on Wednesday in Accra, the capital. Growth in the last quarter of the year slowed to 4.6%, Nyarko said.

Ghana turned to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) last year to narrow a budget deficit that has averaged about 10% in the past three years.

The fund approved almost $1 billion in loans to help rein in inflation and stabilise the cedi, Africa’s worst-performing currency, against the dollar last year.

The cedi was unchanged at 3.85 per dollar at 12:15 p.m. Wednesdsay in Accra.

The government cut its 2015 growth forecast for this year to 3.9%, the lowest since 1994.

Power is cut to the capital for 24 hours at a time because of a shortage of natural gas to power plants and low water levels at the nation’s hydroelectric dam.

Kenya’s 4th quarter slip

On the opposite east coast of the continent, economic growth in Kenya also slowed in the fourth quarter as output by the East African nation’s farmers dropped, the state-run Kenya National Bureau of Statistics said.

Kenya’s  Devolution Secretary Anne Waiguru: Economy created 799,700 jobs last year. (Photo/Anne Waiguru/FB).

Gross domestic product (GDP) rose 5.1% on an annual basis in the three months through December, compared with a revised 5.4% the quarter earlier, the Nairobi-based bureau said in a report handed to reporters Wednesday.

Growth in the agriculture industry eased to 3.8% in the fourth quarter, compared with 6.8% in the earlier period.

“Agriculture slowed in the fourth quarter and whenever agriculture slows it affects the whole GDP performance,” Zachary Mwangi, director-general of the bureau, said in an interview.

Farm output accounts for about 15% of Kenya’s GDP.

Kenya revised its measure of GDP in September, increasing the size of its economy by 25% to $55.2 billion. The National Treasury forecasts the economy will expand by 6.9% this year from 5.3% in 2014.

The economy created 799,700 jobs last year, Devolution Secretary Anne Waiguru told reporters.

-Reporting by Ekow Dontoh, Pauline Bax and David Malingha Doya.

Related Content


blog comments powered by Disqus