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SSA’s Slow and Bumpy Recovery

The aftermath of three years of escalating geopolitical tensions, heightened inflationary pressures, currency volatility, political conundrums, and ailing consumer wallets is an uneven recovery across Sub-Saharan African economies. While the region is expected to post a modest recovery to 3.8% in 2024/25 from 3.4% in 2023, its largest economies will remain in fiscal and economic distress. South Africa and Nigeria are expected to grow by 0.9% and 3.3% in 2024, underperforming regional growth. Moreover, Egypt will drop from being the largest economy in Africa by GDP in 2023 to second place in 2024. However, bright spots exist within smaller economies, predominantly within East Africa. Kenya, Ethiopia, and Rwanda are projected to grow by 5.0%, 6.2%, and 6.9%, respectively, as inflation, currency pressures, and bearish investor sentiments subside. 

Overall, sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) will stay on the path of gradual economic recovery, largely due to consistent economic reforms to incentivize investments and reduce debt burdens. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) notes that SSA countries need estimated external financing of about $70bn annually from 2024 to 2028, accompanied by the necessary reforms to maintain its recovery and push economic growth prospects. However, political risks and external shocks persist.

“2024: Africa’s Electoral Odyssey Towards Economic Renewal”

2024 is the year of elections. There is no truer statement, even for Africa, home to 1.48 billion people. More than 60% of the world’s nations are expected to visit polling units this year, wielding power to the next set of leaders that will determine the fate of the global economy for the next four years. 

In Africa, 19 countries have their presidential elections this year, meaning that 35.19% of the continent might change leadership. African elections have been marred by electoral malpractices, corruption, oppression, and high-holding gerontocracy fuelling coups, a trend that continues to impact investment inflows into Africa negatively. Unfortunately, the recent elections in Comoros and the ongoing elections in Chad have attested to these ugly truths. With more to come in the second half of the year, especially among Africa’s supernodes, there is an opportunity to change the problematic narrative of African elections to one that is free and fair. If this happens, this year can potentially set the course for a new African governance and development era as the trust deficit between Africans and their leaders declines. 

In this edition of the FDC Afriscope, the think tank provides a deep dive into the latest happenings in Africa, including upcoming elections, trade agreements, and IMF insights.

Enjoy your read!