The African economy has been on the watch list of many analysts over the past six years since the boom in commodities other than oil caught the eye of investors and multinationals around the world, there’s a positive rise in the continent with Africa having six of the world’s ten fastest growing economies this year, according to the World Bank. The list includes Ghana (8.3%), , Ethiopia (8.2%), Côte d’Ivoire (7.2%), Djibouti (7%), Senegal (6.9%) and Tanzania (6.8%).
Africa’s economy is projected to continue to rise to 3.2 percent in 2018 and to a further 3.5 in 2019, this is according to the latest World Bank report released early 2018.
Africa Rising is a narrative that improved governance means the continent is almost predestined to enjoy a long period of mid-to-high single-digit economic growth, rising incomes, and an emerging middle class.
You are necessarily talking about countries that already have developed infrastructure, that already have access to electricity, and that probably have significant manpower. So you are talking about the large countries. Ethiopia comes to mind. Possibly Nigeria, with a big domestic market… some of the coastal countries on the eastern seaboard—Kenya, Tanzania have very large populations and access to the sea. And the availability of a market—or the vicinity of markets around—would be an important criterion, IMF Cheif, Christine Lagarde shared with Quartz Africa when asked which African countries are positioning themselves to rise economically.
African giants, South Africa, and Nigeria were excluded from the list of African countries that grew economically this year, sub-Saharan Africa’s growth average would have been higher (5%) if you excluded the big three economies of Nigeria, Angola, and South Africa from the region. Nigeria and Angola being the top Oil producers on the continent depend heavily on Oil to boost their economic GDP hence the slower growth experienced in the region. Though all hope isn’t lost for the Oil giants as Brent crude hit a high of 70$ this past week. The World Bank says South Africa will grow by 1.1% compared with 0.8% last year while Nigeria should grow by 2.5% from 1% in 2017 and Angola will expand by 1.6%.
These large economies are at risk of a lost decade unless policymakers implement significant reforms to shift the growth model away from excessive reliance on oil in Angola and Nigeria and, in the case of South Africa, to overcome structural problems—many inherited from the apartheid era, Brahima Coulibaly, director of Brookings’ Africa Growth Initiative shares with Quartz Africa.
Tanzania, Sierra Leone, Burkina Faso, Niger, Benin, and Rwanda round up the list of African economies to watch in 2018.