Seven things to expect in Africa in 2015

2015-01-17 09:00

From politics to the impact of the oil price, Africa is set for an eventful 2015.

At the Africa Economic Outlook 2015 held in Sandton this week, CEO of research firm Frontier Advisory Martyn Davies shared some of the biggest trends to watch out for in the continent this year. Here's your take-away:

1. Commodity price decline:

Can Africa rebalance its economy? Many African countries are single-commodity economies, so there will be a move away from commodity growth towards new drivers of growth.

2. Shift to East Africa:

The centre of gravity of capital’s interest in Africa will now shift toward the Eastern region (Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia). Oil-producing countries will experience a drop in growth due to a drop in oil prices.

3. Consumer spending continues unabated:

Things will look up for oil-importing countries but there will be a negative effect on those consumers in oil-producing countries and will affect companies in those jurisdictions.

4. Weak currencies

African currencies will remain under pressure in light of a strong US dollar.

5. The lingering impact from the Ebola crisis in West Africa and beyond

Economically it was a very small effect (1%), but how will it have affected the perception of the continent?

6. Will political change come to Nigeria?

Some in the business community are already hoping Goodluck Jonanthan loses the  election, such as Jim O’Neill, former chairman of Goldman Sachs. The investor community will be taking a keen interest on who will next lead Africa’s biggest economy.

7. Chinese investment

China will announce further multi-billion dollar investments into Africa in 2015. In South Africa, 2015 has been dubbed the Year of China, so expect more agreements and investment from China.

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