Business Leaders Series: Southern Africa

Africa Regional Webinar Series

African economies are expected to rebound in 2021. According to the African Development Bank, real GDP on the continent is projected to grow by 3.4% after shrinking by 2.1% last year, a recovery driven by the effective deployment of therapeutics and vaccines, continued implementation of the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) and increased private sector investment and participation in the economy.

Southern Africa was the region that was hardest hit by the pandemic, with an economic contraction of 7.0% in 2020. However, it is projected to grow by 3.2% in 2021 and 2.4% in 2022. 

The service sector, which accounts for over 50% of the GDP of most of the regional economies, is expected to be negatively impacted by the pandemic, worsened by travel bans, as well as disruption to transport, distribution, hotels and restaurants, entertainment, retail and trade.

However, as lockdowns across the region ease and both consumer and business spending increases, Southern Africa will experience a strong bounce-back in the years to come. 

With the re-start of air travel, the tourism and hospitality industry in the sub-region will recover, and with the implementation of the AfCFTA, cross-border trade will rapidly increase, benefiting businesses and governments alike. 

The Southern Africa region series will analyse in more detail the services sector in Southern Africa and invite private sector leaders operating in the tourism, hospitality and FMCG sector to draw a cohesive plan for economic recovery.


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