West Africa’s economy grew at a rate of 6.9% during the year 2012, an increase of over 5.9% in 2011, regional bloc ECOWAS announced March 1, 2013.
Sierra Leone recorded the highest economic growth rate ahead of Ghana and other countries in the sub-region.
Of the 15 ECOWAS countries, Sierra Leone recorded the highest economic growth rate of 18.3% compared to the expected rate of 8% for Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Liberia and Niger, while Mali recorded a recession, the report indicated.
The achieved economic growth in the sub-region was more than double the global rate, the report by ECOWAS indicated.
“In spite of the global slow down, regional growth remained robust with a growth estimated at 6.9 per cent,” President of the ECOWAS Commission, Kadré Désiré Ouédraogo said in his annual report to regional leaders at the just-ended 42nd ECOWAS Summit in Ivory Coast.
The report covers various aspects of ECOWAS’ activities and programmes for the year under review.
According to ECOWAS, the figures which compare favourably with the 5.3% for sub-Saharan Africa and 4.5% for Africa over the same period were driven mainly by “good rainfall and positive developments in the mining and petroleum sectors.”
But for the political crises in Guinea-Bissau and Mali, the ECOWAS President said the Community implemented its 2012 work programme in an atmosphere characterised by “relative political stability and improved political and economic governance.”
Nigeria has the biggest economy in the region followed by Ghana.