Nigeria, which was the named the third fastest growing economy in the world in 2014 and early 2015 has retrogressed, and is now not even amongst the 15 fastest growing economies on the African continent this year, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has indicated. In 2014 and early 2015, Nigeria was named the third fastest growing economy in the world by CNNMoney, with China and Qatar, taking the lead at 7.3 percent, 7.1 percent gross domestic product (GDP) growth.
However, following the 2015 election uncertainty, crash in crude oil price, and prolonged revelation of policy direction by the newly inaugurated Muhammadu Buhari-led government, Nigeria’s GDP for 2015 crashed to 2.8 percent. For 2016, however, the coast is cloudy, and Nigeria is nowhere near the fastest growing economies in Africa. According to the International Monetary Funds (IMF) World Economic Outlook for 2016, as revised in April, the fastest growing economy in Africa for 2016 is Cote d’Ivoire and the slowest is Chad, which is expected to record negative growth. Cote d’Ivoire is expected to experience an 8.5 percent rise in GDP, while Nigeria’s neighbour, Chad, would see a -0.4 percent growth.
The fastest growing economies in Africa by GDP growth rate, as projected by IMF for 2016, are: Cote D’Ivoire (8.5%), Tanzania (6.9%), Senegal (6.6%), Djibouti (6.5%), Rwanda (6.3%), Kenya (6.0%), Mozambique (6.0%), Central African Republic (5.7%), Sierra Leone (5.3%) and Uganda (5.3%). DR Congo expects a GDP growth of 4.9 percent, Cameroon; 4.9 percent, Ethiopia; 4.5 percent, Ghana; 4.5 percent and Republic of Congo; 4.4 percent. Madagascar, Zambia and Chad are expected to see a growth of 4.1 percent, 3.4 percent, 3.2 percent respectively. Major oil exporters, Angola and Nigeria, hard hit by the slump in crude oil prices, are projected to see a growth 2.5 and 2.3 percent. At 2.3 percent, Nigeria is expected to see its poorest GDP growth since the return of Democracy in 1999.
This development has become a point of concern for the IMF, and the World Economic Forum (WEF), which would be having its meeting on Africa later in May. “It is important to recognize the challenges that many African economies face – the commodities slump, currency devaluations and geo-security risks all threaten growth,” WEF explained. The Forum says its May meeting will highlight the need for diversification in order to ensure inclusive economic growth, tapping into the fourth industrial revolution’s potential to create new industries and help reduce inequality across the continent. The World Economic Forum on Africa 2016 will take place in Kigali, Rwanda from 11-13 May.