Fastest growing Economy leaves Competitors in Sub-Saharan Africa behind

Ghana has lost its mantle as the African economy likely to grow the quickest this year to Ethiopia, which has held the position for most of the past decade, International Monetary Fund (IMF) data showed.

West Africa’s second-biggest economy should expand 6.3% this year, the IMF said in its World Economic Outlook released Tuesday. That’s lower than the 8.9% forecast in October, and is also less than the raised 7.4% estimate for Ivory Coast and the prediction for Ethiopia, which was held at 8.5%.

Commodities including oil, gold and cocoa are the mainstay of Ghana’s US$ 43bn economy, which surged 8.5% last year as the Sankofa crude field started up in May.

Its growth booms and busts have been closely linked to oil since it became a producer in 2010. Ethiopia, whose gross domestic product is almost double Ghana’s, has drawn investors including General Electric Co, Johannesburg-based Standard Bank Group and hundreds of Chinese companies.

The IMF increased its forecast for expansion in sub-Saharan Africa to 3.4% this year and 3.7% the next “as the challenging outlook in commodity exporters gradually improves,” it said.

Nigeria, the region’s most-populous nation and top crude producer, will grow 2.1%, matching the lender’s estimate released in the January 22 update to the outlook, while South Africa, the world’s biggest source of platinum, will expand 1.5%, more than the 0.9% prediction three months ago.

While those two economies still account for almost half of the region’s GDP, the ranks of the fastest growing economies in Sub-Saharan Africa is currently as follows:

# Ethiopia
# Ivory Coast
# Senegal
# Tanzania
# Ghana

For further details on the factors that impact and further the growth of those countries, please see the African Country Benchmark Report, which can be ordered from Into SA.

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