6 African economies that you should watch in 2017

By Chika Jones

Only countries which have diversified their economies, focused on energy infrastructure, and promoted industrialization will be best poised to overcome the current challenges and succeed in 2017.

Some of the African countries to watch in 2017 are:

1. Nigeria

The Nigerian economy has been plagued by low petroleum prices, and the attacks by the militants in the oil-producing Niger Delta region.

The rest of the economy has been hammered by the poor management of the currency float and the overall business climate.

Yet in 2017, the diversification of the economy might make the Nigerian economy the best in 2017.

2. Angola

Angola nudged ahead of Nigeria early last year to become Africa’s biggest oil producer, as Nigeria battled several problems.

However, inflation projected to have been around 45 percent in 2016, the country’s currency, the Kwanza, lost nearly 20 percent of its value during the same period. Angola will be a country to watch out for in 2017.

3. Algeria

Algeria’s heavy dependence on energy exports caused the growth to slow down to an estimated 3.6 percent in 2016 with the World Bank estimating it will plunge further in the coming year.

However, low oil prices will continue to weigh on government finances as inflation and unemployment both increase; the dinar has nominally depreciated 20 percent over the last two years.

Hopefully, the 2017 budget signed by the country’s octogenarian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika in late December which raises taxes to compensate for declining revenues, will help.

4. South Africa

South Africa was saved by the downgrade by Standard & Poor’s of its sovereign credit. However, the numerous corruption scandals surrounding President Jacob Zuma have divided the ruling African National Congress.

While political volatility has undermined investor confidence in the country. 2017 might be the year, the country goes on a u-turn.

5. Democratic Republic of the Congo

Democratic Republic of the Congo will likely struggle economically in the coming year. Although a last-minute political deal pushed by the country’s influential Roman Catholic bishops that is supposed to lead to presidential elections before the end of 2017.

President Joseph Kabila’s decision to violate the constitution and hold on to power despite the December 19, 2016, expiration of his final term casts a long shadow over the fourth most-populous country on the African continent and the largest country by area in Sub-Saharan Africa.

6. Ivory Coast

Côte d’Ivoire may well be Africa’s new economic powerhouse, with a diversified economy and growth in 2016 expected to hit 8.5 percent, the second-highest in the world.

While there have been occasional hiccups like the mutiny this past weekend by some soldiers left over from the country’s civil war a decade ago.

President Alassane Ouattara, an economist and former International Monetary Fund (IMF) director, is widely credited with sound macroeconomic management.

Culled From Naij.com