African economies have experienced high growth in recent years as the continent attracted investors due to its vast natural resources and growing middle class. Infrastructural and technological developments have also opened up the continent to the rest of the world.
Despite a recent slowdown in some economies, including Nigeria and South Africa, due to a commodities price slump globally, African countries are still among the fastest growing economies in the world in 2016.
Below are eight African economies that are expected to maintain high growth rates this year.
1. Ivory Coast
It is the fastest growing economy on the continent with a rate of 8.5 percent. The nation’s economy has greatly benefited from government policies and structural reforms in her public and private sectors. These have led to increased investment, from both local and foreign investors. Agriculture is the leading contributor to the growth. Ivory Coast is the biggest producer and exporter of cocoa beans whose price has recovered remarkably on the international market. Coffee and palm oil industries are also major sectors of the agriculture sector.
The horn of Africa nation was the fastest growing economy in the world in 2015 at a rate of 8.7 percent. In 2016, the rate is projected to dip to 8.1 percent due to a drought that has ravaged the northern part of the country.
Ethiopia’s economy has benefited from the little exports. The control of the national currency, Birr, also cushioned it from the global currency meltdown that hit many African currencies last year.
The growth is also attributed to good security, zero-tolerance on corruption and sound government policies, especially in the infrastructural sector. The nation is undertaking construction of Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam Project, which will be the biggest in Africa upon completion in 2017. It will make the nation one of the leading producers of hydro-electric power on the continent.
The nation’s economic growth rate is projected at 8.1 percent in 2016, an increase from 7.5 percent in 2015. Infrastructural sectors especially transport, communication and construction industries are major pillars of the growth rate.
Mozambique is rich in natural resources such as, aluminum, iron ore, gold, bauxite and limestone. Aluminum is a major export for the Southern Africa nation. Despite the growth, the nation is a poor nation due to trade imbalance. It spends more on imports such as food and oil than it earns from its exports.
The East African nation has a projected economic growth rate of 6.9 percent in 2016. Agriculture is the nation’s economic backbone, with big exports in rice. It is also a net exporter of gold. The Swahili-speaking nation has enjoyed political stability that has provided a strong foundation to grow the economy. Inflation rates are also low. Tanzania is also undertaking huge infrastructural projects such as the Bagamoyo Port, which will be the biggest in the region upon its completion.
The West African nation has an estimated growth rate of 6.6 percent in 2016. The government has made efforts to reduce oil prices, costs of production and electricity subsidies and focused on to providing a healthy environment to both local and foreign investors.
The services sector, especially telecommunications and financial services are also projected to play a major part in the fast growing economy. The country’s agricultural sector, mainly rice and horticulture sectors are key contributors to its Gross Domestic Product.
Since her independence from France in 1960, Senegal has enjoyed a stable political environment that has laid the foundation for her economic growth.
The growth rate is projected to hit 6.3 percent in 2016. The tiny landlocked economy is driven by the agricultural and services industries. Inflation is low due to the low food and fuel prices in the landlocked East African nation.
Rwanda has also undertaken a public investment programme in the transport and energy sectors that is set to ease transport and costs of production, which will boost the nation’s economic growth.
It has also adopted the Vision 2020, which will transform the nation from a low-income agriculture-based economy to a services-based economy with a majority of her population in the middle-class.
The country has enjoyed political stability since the genocide in 1994. This has provided an enabling environment for its economic growth.
It is the biggest economy in East Africa. The economy is projected to grow at 6.0 percent in 2016, an increase from 5.6 percent in 2015. Volatility in the country’s currency, the Kenyan Shilling, and adverse effect of terrorist attacks on the tourism sector are the biggest impediments to the nation’s economic growth.
Good performance by the agriculture sector, which is the nation’s main economic activity, infrastructural projects such as the Standard Gauge Railway and health monetary policies are the key pillars to this growth.
The nation has also had political stability apart from the 2007-08 post-election violence. This has continually wooed both foreign and local investors.
8. Democratic Republic of Congo
The mineral rich nation nation has a fast-expanding economy, with a growth rate of 6.4 percent in 2016. It has vast mineral resources such as copper, uranium and gold. The sector has been the biggest contributor to its economic growth.
Political instability coupled with long-spells of civil war is the biggest challenges to the nation’s economic growth. There is also systematic corruption. Nearly 70 percent of the country’s 69.6 million people live below the poverty line, mainly due to the devastating civil wars and endemic corruption.