Top Ten fastest growing African economies
Uganda’s economy grew by 5.3% (GDP) in 2016, which is actually a lower rate of growth than during the 1990s and early 2000s when it was developing at an average rate of 7%. Difficulties behind Uganda’s drop to number ten on the list have include adverse weather, civil unrest in South Sudan, global economic uncertainty and private sector credit constraints. However, the World Bank expects increased growth over the next three years.
=9) Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone reported 5.3% growth in its GDP in 2016 in spite of significant shocks that shook its economic foundations during 2014 and 2015; during which Sierra Leone demonstrated great resilience. The country experienced a real-term GDP swing of -20.6% in 2015 as the result of the collapse of iron ore prices and the Ebola epidemic, but the World Bank projects that Sierra Leone will continue to rebound with a 5.4% increase in 2017. This economic growth is expected to be fuelled by continued investment in agriculture, fisheries and mining. The International Monetary Fund also predicts that Sierra Leone will continue to experience its upward trajectory of recovery.
8) Central African Republic
The Central African Republic reported growth of 5.7% in 2016. The nation is showing promising economic growth with the first democratically-elected president, Faustin Archange, at the helm. Though economic recovery within the Central African Republic has been slower than anticipated, the World Bank expects the next few years will see increased stability and growth. However, growth in exports and increases in production are expected to boost an increase in GDP.
The country has a labour force of 10.1mn and its key economic sectors include manufacturing, agriculture, tourism and finance, all of which declined after independence from Portugal was gained in 1975. The economy then picked up in the 2000s after the Mozambican Civil War. Mozambique reported growth of 6% in 2016 and a notable change in the economy was linked to the discovery of oil and gas in East Africa, but agriculture remains the mainstay of the economy, employing more than 80% of the workforce. Other key profitable industries for the nation include fertilisers, glass, cement, tobacco and textiles.
Kenya reported a 2016 GDP growth of 6.3% and is expected to continue on its path of economic growth. Located in East Africa, Kenya enjoys a stable currency, low inflation and reasonable fuel prices. When coupled with an increase within its construction and services sectors, as well as rising incomes and a burgeoning middle class, it’s easy to see the drivers behind its upward trend.
Located in East Africa, Rwanda is a landlocked country with a population of 11.61mn. According to the World Economic Forum, Rwanda is among the fastest growing economies on the African continent. Its 6.3% growth in its GDP is expected to continue thanks to the country's development goals as outlined in it Vision 2020 strategy. Four themes govern this push for growth and include rural development, economic transformation, employment by youth and increased productivity.
A small port country, Djibouti's economy hinges on services that take advantage of its strategic location at the Red Sea's southern entrance, as well as foreign investments and financing. The GDP of Djibouti increased in 2016 by 6.5% as a result of construction, transport services and port development. The establishment of a free zone within the country, as well as the profits from a railway leading to Ethiopia, are also drivers of its growth.
Senegal experienced economic growth of 6.6% in 2016. This was fuelled, at least in part, by President Macky Sall's economic plan that includes major reforms for industries as diverse as tourism, education, financial services and energy. With a focus on improving Senegal's productivity and increasing the country's GDP, the plan also calls for 27 flagship projects to be undertaken.
Tanzania’s economy grew by 6.9% in 2016. In spite of slumping growth in many other parts of Sub-Saharan Africa, Tanzania is expected to deliver a 7% growth in its GDP in 2017. In addition to the service sector and agricultural production delivering strong results, Tanzania also demonstrated an increase in the growth of quarrying and mining. Measures designed to halt corruption and tax evasion, as well as a relatively low interest rate, are other factors fuelling its growth.
1) Ivory Coast
The Ivory Coast reportedly grew its GDP by 8.5% in 2016. The nation is led by President Alassane Quattara, an economist and former director with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). According to the World Bank, the country boasts a sizable manufacturing base and is a major exporter of oil. It is also the world’s number one exporter of both raw cashew nuts and cocoa.