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23.06.2015
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Sub-Saharan Africa: three East African economies are sheltered from the economic storm

Sub-Saharan Africa: three East African economies are sheltered from the economic storm
Althoughgrowth was accelerated by the high prices of commodities on which sub-Saharan Africa is highly dependent, the region must now deal with the effects of falling oil prices. The 45 countries screened by Coface are affected to different degrees. Three of these countries have all the ingredients needed for dynamic growth in the short and the long term. They have been relatively spared by the decline in world commodity prices and their economies are diversifying.

13 countries arerelatively unaffected by the recent decline in world commodity prices

An exceptional combination of positive factors has helped accelerate growth in Africa (about 5% per year on average since 2008). These factors include structural adjustment linked to the relatively low initial per capita income, high foreign investment, a more stable political environment and numerous debt cancellations. The upturn was also boosted by the high prices of commodities on which the region is highly dependent. Fuels (mainly oil) account for 53% of sub-Saharan export sales, well ahead of ores, metals and gemstones (17%) and food products and agricultural commodities (11%). For some countries, such as Nigeria, Chad, Equatorial Guinea and Angola, the proportion of fuels within export sales is between 60% and 100%.

The region has consequently been weakened by the magnitude and longevity of the fall in commodity prices. Situations vary between countries, depending on whether they are net exporters of non-renewable resources (crude oil and base metals in free fall) or net exporters of renewable resources (food and agricultural commodities, for which the fall in prices is limited). The score for each of the forty-five countries examined (see Appendix) has identified thirteen relatively unaffected countries: Ethiopia, Sao Tome, Uganda, Malawi, Cape Verde, Kenya, Burundi, Seychelles, Central African Republic, Mauritius, Tanzania, Swaziland, and Togo. The fall in export prices is less than that of their imported products.

 

The biggest winners: Kenya,Ethiopia and Uganda

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