The report notes that GDP growth in Africa is projected to average 4.3% between 2015 and 2020.
Nigeria, the largest economy on the continent, is expected to contribute significantly to Africa’s economic expansion -at an average real rate of 4.8% per annum between 2015 and 2020, contributing over 25% to the continent’s forecast growth in this timeframe.
In the East Africa Region Kenya’s economy should to expand by around 6% during the 2017 to 2020 period.
Thanks to its relatively diversified economy and comparatively low commodity dependence bonding well with the country’s economic growth outlook.
“Africa is the most commodity-dependent continent on earth. Africa’s economies increasingly need to create a hospitable environment for companies in the manufacturing and services sectors to drive growth, as the old models of growth driven by exports of raw materials are out-dated,” says Michael Armstrong, ICAEW Middle East, Africa and South Asia Regional Director.
“The East African region is embracing the use of renewable energy to leapfrog older power generation technologies, while also reducing the need to extend the national energy grid to remote villages,” says Armstrong.
The report notes that Kenya, for instance, is now ranked the seventh highest producer of geothermal power globally after it recently unveiled the second phase of the Olkaria geothermal plant.
Olkaria is now the biggest single- turbine geothermal plant in the world.
However, Kenya continues to face its own unique challenges.
The country’s unwarrantable fiscal situation is the primary reason why both Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings downgraded the country’s outlook from stable to negative last year.
However, the report also points out that the Kenyan Government has taken important steps towards fiscal consolidation by preparing a supplementary budget that plans to reduce both development and recurrent public spending in the current fiscal year.
“A clear plan for preventing fiscal slippage will be needed to underpin confidence in public finances and economic stability. The government’s recognition of these economic concerns will be needed to address these issues and instill some confidence in the country’s economic outlook,” says Tom Rogers, Oxford Economics Macro Consulting Associate Director.
According to the ICAEW Economic Insight: Africa report Innovation in financial services technology, known as as FinTech, has erupted as a primary global investment opportunity and has recorded rapid growth over the past five years as technological innovation allowed digitally active consumers to streamline and improve on traditional banking services.
“The online financial sector has really taken off in Africa, answering a need for quality financial services and tailor- made solutions to structural challenges including frequent power disruptions and poor rural infrastructure,” says Rogers.
FinTech significantly contributed to the ease of transferring money and remitting earnings, acquiring insurance and attaining credit. Mobile banking has enabled peer-to-peer lending on a larger scale.
Oxford Economics, ICAEW’s partner and accredited expert in global economic forecasting, and NKC African Economics produced the Economic Insight: Africa Q1 2016 report.
Click here to read the full Economic Insight Africa Report.