How China’s slowdown is also slowing down Africa

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Image: AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell
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Economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa is projected to slow down in 2015, dropping to 4% from 4.5% in 2014. It will also be 0.5% slower than average growth over the past 20 years, according to new World Bank data. The slowdown is caused by the falling prices of oil and other commodities and the relative economic decline in China–a major oil importer and investor in Africa, World Bank says.

The good news is that Africa’s growth is still significantly higher than the global average (2.9% for 2015), and the World Bank projects an uptick in in 2016.

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The region is vulnerable to falling commodity prices, the World Bank says. And these fell significantly in 2014: oil, dropped more than 50% over the last year, while iron ore declined by 37%. Other risks to the area’s emerging economies include violent conflict or disease outbreaks, as shown by the recent Ebola crisis.

Among the countries that will fare worse than others are the oil-producing Angola or Republic of Congo, and among those who will be less affected are the diversified–and oil importing–economies of Kenya or Senegal.