African business leaders are confident sub-Saharan Africa will beat International Monetary Fund forecasts for GDP growth this year and next, according to new research for blockchain-based mobile network operator World Mobile.

The IMF is predicting real GDP growth of 3,8% this year, rising to 4% next year. However, the study with African business leaders found almost all are more confident about growth, with almost 88% predicting GDP growth this year of 4% or higher – 60% expect GDP growth to be 4,3% or more in 2023.

World Mobile’s study surveyed senior executives at companies with combined annual revenues of $6,75-billion based in Tanzania, Angola, Botswana, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria, and South Africa.

The senior business executives believe improving internet connectivity is vital to continuing economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa where around 28% of the population are connected to the internet.

Around 27% of executives say it is important to boosting growth, while nearly two-thirds (65%) say its role in boosting economic growth will increase over the next three years as societies become more digital and technology focused.

Micky Watkins, CEO of World Mobile, says: “Economies around the world suffered during the Covid-19 pandemic with an impact on GDP growth, and sub-Saharan Africa was no exception.
It is encouraging to hear from business leaders on the ground that they are more confident than the IMF on the future path of economic growth with expectations that it will beat official forecasts.”