English
Date: 19/12/2019

 

What are the economic prospects in sub-Saharan Africa? The International Monetary Fund (IMF) answers these questions in its semi-annual report on the Regional Economic Outlook for Sub-Saharan Africa and presents two key themes: competition and competitiveness in product markets and domestic arrears in sub-Saharan Africa.

 

 

A summary of the report

 

Economic growth:

  • Growth is forecast to be slower than previously envisaged for about two-thirds of the countries in the region.
  • Is projected to remain at 3.2 % in 2019 and rise to 3.6 % in 2020
  • Is projected to remain strong in non-resource-intensive countries in particular within the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU), averaging about 6 %.
  • In contrast, growth is expected to move in slow gear in resource-intensive countries (2.5 %), mainly among the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC)

Inflation:

  • Is expected to remain low in monetary unions WAEMU and CEMAC, from 8.4 % in 2019 to 8.0 % in 2020.
  • But will increase in countries that have suffered from conflicts, political turmoil (Angola and Liberia), or from droughts (Kenya, Ethiopia, Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe).

Domestic arrears in SSA

  • In average they represented 3.3 % of GDP (2018), and they are mostly payable to private sector companies.
  • With a maximum of 18% of GDP (Republic of Congo)
  • About 8.5% of GDP in oil exporters and resource-intensive countries (Ghana, Cameroon, Guinea-Bissau, and Nigeria)

Foreign exchange reserves :

  • Are expected to remain low,  between 3 and 4 months of imports, with wide differences across countries. 
  • Leaving several countries exposed to terms-of-trade shocks, such as Nigeria.

Public debt as a ratio to GDP has stabilized at about 55 % on average across countries.

  • Seven countries are in debt distress, which include The Gambia, Mozambique, and Republic of Congo.
  • Nine countries are at high risk of debt distress, including Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, and Zambia.
  • Whereas, Ghana and Ivory Coast have made strides by using debt buybacks to ease near-term refinancing risks and reprofile external debt.

 

 

 Download the report