Dubai, UAE: Growth momentum behind Sub-Sahara Africa (SSA) economies is expected to pick up pace over with combined regional GDP projected to reach $2.4 trillion by 2023, nearly doubling from the $1.6 trillion accounted for in 2018, according to new analysis from Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The analysis, based on data from the International Monetary Fund and Haver Analytics, was released ahead of the 5th Global Business Forum Africa (GBF Africa) which takes place on November 18th-19th 2019 in Dubai.

The findings showed that economic growth reached its highest level in over two decades with SSA countries recording combined GDP growth of 3.8% during the 2008-2018 period. This figure is forecast to increase further to 8.4% over the next five years. Although the GDP figures are relatively small compared to other regions of the world, SSA economies are expected to continue on a path of rapid growth in the near future.

Key economic contributors

Commodity prices, infrastructure investments, increased consumer spending power, a fast-growing population, urban expansion and improved business confidence were identified as key factors supporting the growth trend in SSA economies.

The two largest economies in SSA, Nigeria and South Africa, are the top contributors to economic growth, together accounting for 47% of regional GDP in 2018.

Fastest-growing economies

Ethiopia was ranked as the fastest-growing economy in SSA during the 2014-2018 period, followed by Ivory Coast, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, Djibouti, Guinea, Mali, Kenya and Niger respectively. The analysis showed that 70% of these countries are not rich in natural resources, while their exports are not dominated by specific goods.

SSA's fastest growing economies provide attractive business opportunities for international investors due to their stable market conditions, as well as other key trends such as improved business climate, strong government commitment towards local investments and rising foreign direct investment.

Identifying business opportunities emerging in SSA is among the top priorities of Dubai Chamber's representative offices in Africa as these offices devote their effort and resources to exploring trade and investment potential in the region, along with other promising African markets.

GBF Africa 2019 will bring together heads of state, ministers, policymakers, business leaders, industry experts, economists and entrepreneurs from Africa and the UAE for a two-day forum that will examine new business prospects emerging across the continent and explore new avenues of bilateral economic cooperation.

Source: Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry