Southern Africa: Forget El Nino - Drought Is Already Scorching Southern Africa's Economies

Parched earth in a drought (file photo)
analysis

First the good news: forecasts suggest SA and its neighbours will dodge an El Nino this summer, which often heralds drought. The bad news is much of the region is already being scorched by drought, which is hitting agricultural production, power output and economic growth. A summer of simmering discontent may be looming.

As South Africa grapples with falling dam levels and concerns about looming shortages of water, spare a thought for neighbours to the north. In September, Zambian President Edgar Lungu said the country's 2019 economic growth forecast had been halved to 2% from 4% in the face of a persistent drought that has hit crop production and hydroelectric power generation.

In perennial basket case Zimbabwe, where decades of mad policies and outright looting have shattered the economy, gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to contract this year, as drought puts the finishing touches on Zanu-PF incompetence. Malawi has also experienced slower economic growth because of poor rains.

For Zimbabwe and Zambia, a critical point may have already been reached on the power generation front. The Kariba Dam is a major source of power for both countries. According to the Zambezi River Authority (ZRA), which manages the dam, Kariba's...

See What Everyone is Watching

More From: Daily Maverick

Don't Miss

AllAfrica publishes around 700 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.