At a well-attended event on April 25, The Economist unveiled the 2024 edition of its annual future-focused publication, The World Ahead, with a spotlight on Nigeria and West Africa.

“As one of the world’s fastest-growing regions, West Africa is primed for expansion, with forecasts, edging up from 3.2% in 2023 to 4% GDP this year. Capitalising on rapid population growth, a youthful demographic, and an expanding middle class, most West African economies are poised to exceed the 4% growth mark,” the British magazine wrote.

The forecast comes after the IMF projected Nigeria will lose its place as Africa’s third-largest economy in 2024 to Algeria after a decade of slow growth, inflationary pressures, and naira depreciation.

Lagos State governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who was represented at the launch event by his special adviser on sustainable development goals Oreoluwa Finnih, described The World Ahead 2024 publication as “a call to action” for policymakers and the government. “While we are encouraged by the positive growth progressions for Africa, West Africa, and Nigeria in the forecast for 2024, we understand all of these would not just happen but are predicated on our continuous commitment to sustaining ongoing reforms,” he said.

In a fireside chat, John G. Counmantaros, Chairman of Flour Mills of Nigeria,  the country’s biggest miller, spoke about the company’s strategy in navigating Nigeria’s market at a time when consumer groups and multinationals are exiting the country due to naira devaluation and foreign exchange shortage. “If you are importing everything you do, then you are at risk of disruptions. The Nigerian market is growing, so it’s important to have a diversified local content and supply chain,” he said.

The World Ahead 2024 publication also features opinion pieces from notable persons including Nigeria’s minister of communications, innovation, and digital economy, Bosun Tijani who wrote about the transformative power of digital innovation in Nigeria’s economic growth, highlighting the efforts of his ministry to build a “strong digital economy.”

Ganiu Oloruntade Reporter, TechCabal

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