Ethiopia overtakes Ghana as Fastest-Growing African Economy – IMF

The offices of the Pan African chamber of commerce, left, and Wegagaen Bank SC stand beyond the Addis Ababa light rail track in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on Saturday, June 25, 2016. Kenya and Ethiopia have agreed to build a railway line connecting the Kenyan towns of Lamu, Moyale to the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, the Kenyan presidency said on Twitter this month. Photographer: Xaume Olleros/Bloomberg

Bloomberg – Ghana has lost its mantle as the African economy likely to grow the quickest this year to Ethiopia, which has held the position for most of the past decade, International Monetary Fund data showed.

West Africa’s second-biggest economy should expand 6.3 percent this year, the IMF said in its World Economic Outlook released Tuesday. That’s lower than the 8.9 percent forecast in October, and is also less than the raised 7.4 percent estimate for Ivory Coast and the prediction for Ethiopia, which was held at 8.5 percent.

Commodities including oil, gold and cocoa are the mainstay of Ghana’s $43 billion economy, which surged 8.5 percent last year as the Sankofa crude field started up in May. Its growth booms and busts have been closely linked to oil since it became a producer in 2010. Ethiopia, whose gross domestic product is almost double Ghana’s, has drawn investors including General Electric Co., Johannesburg-based Standard Bank Group and hundreds of Chinese companies.

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The IMF increased its forecast for expansion in sub-Saharan Africa to 3.4 percent this year and 3.7 percent the next “as the challenging outlook in commodity exporters gradually improves,” it said.

Nigeria, the region’s most-populous nation and top crude producer, will grow 2.1 percent, matching the lender’s estimate released in the Jan. 22 update to the outlook, while South Africa, the world’s biggest source of platinum, will expand 1.5 percent, more than the 0.9 percent prediction three months ago. The two economies account for almost half of the region’s GDP.

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Forecasts from the World Bank and African Development Bank in January also showed Ghana would expand the fastest this year. The World Bank will publish an updated report on African economies Wednesday.

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