Burkina Faso: Promoting digital technology to strengthen the resilience of the economy

Washington, June 9, 2022 – According to a new World Bank report released today, Burkina Faso’s economy grew 7.0% in 2021 after decelerating 1.9% in 2020 due to the COVID-19. This rebound in growth is mainly due to that of the service sector and to major investments in mining production, notably gold, as well as in the manufacturing industry. The Burkinabe economy is expected to continue its growth trajectory in 2022 to reach 4.8% thanks to private consumption, a moderate rebound in agricultural production, and the continued good performance of the gold sector.

The poverty rate is expected to have declined in 2021, although the absolute number of people living in extreme poverty is only slowly decreasing due to the country’s high population growth and the nature of the sectors that have driven this growth.

Entitled “Resilience in times of uncertainty: promoting digital services”, the report analyzes the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the climate and security crises on the Burkinabe economy. He noted that the near-term outlook is subject to multiple downside risks including rising inflation following rising world prices due to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. If these risks were to ease, growth should stand at 5.3% over the period 2023-2024 and the extreme poverty rate would continue to fall in the medium term, by about 1 percentage point per year.

“It is undeniable that Burkina Faso has shown resilience in 2021 despite the security and health crises facing the country,” said Maimouna Mbow Fam, World Bank Country Manager for Burkina Faso. “Wide-ranging economic reforms and investment in digital infrastructure would enable the country to regain or even improve on its pre-COVID-19 pandemic growth rate.”

The report notes that the effects of the various crises in combination with structural challenges have had a negative impact on food security, and that export bans in response to food price increases could prove ineffective or counterproductive. .

“Alternatively, the Government could consider measures to replenish strategic food stocks, strengthen early warning systems, make them more transparent and predictable while defining the methods of collection, and finally strengthen food aid to the most vulnerable, including understood by an accelerated operationalization of the single social register” suggest Daniel Pajank and Kodzovi Abalo, country economists at the World Bank and co-authors of the report.

The authors also recommend policy options to improve macro-fiscal and poverty prospects, digital financial services, and more generally digital technologies to strengthen the country’s economic resilience, and create new opportunities for growth through productivity gains, more innovation and inclusion.

Furthermore, the report offers specific options for promoting digital technology so that the private sector can increase its role in supporting economic growth and reducing poverty.

For more information on the activities of the World Bank: https://www.banquemondiale.org/fr/region/afr

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