ABIDJAN — In recent years, African heads of state have frequently broadcast to the world that their continent is “open for business.” It has attracted more than $95 billion in foreign direct investment over the past two years. However, as those investments begin to see a slow decline, African Development Bank experts say that regional integration is now more pertinent than ever in continuing the continent’s economic growth.
Africa experienced 3.5 percent real gross domestic product growth in 2018, similar to its 3.6 percent growth in 2017, according to the AfDB’s report “2019 African Economic Outlook,” released in this month. East Africa remains the continent’s fastest-growing region and is expected to reach 6.1 percent growth by 2020. Violence and insecurity could be to blame for Central Africa being the continent’s weakest performing region, with just 2.2 percent growth; while West Africa reported a “stable outlook” driven by recovery in Nigeria and strong growth in Côte d’Ivoire and Senegal.