MinbarLibya – International
Forces opposed to Libya's unity government ride a truck in the Zueitina oil terminal on September 14, 2016.
Forces opposed to Libya's unity government handed management of four vital oil ports to the National Oil Company on September 14, after seizing them in a blow to fragile peace efforts. Prime minister-designate Fayez al-Sarraj called for urgent talks after the ports were captured by forces loyal to Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, who supports a rival administration in the country's east.
 / AFP / Abdullah DOMA        (Photo credit should read ABDULLAH DOMA/AFP/Getty Images)

Africa’s two largest economies Nigeria and South Africa are currently experiencing economic difficulties. Nigeria is battling with a deepening recession and Africa’s most advanced economy is dealing with slow growth.

So with the two giants struggling, who should we look out for in 2017? The following is the top ten countries that the International Monetary Fund is pinning its hopes on.

#1 Libya

Despite the war there, oil production is expected to return to full capacity, the IMF projects that the economy will grow by 13.7% in 2017. Oil and gas account for 60% of the total GDP with oil representing about 95% of its foreign currency revenue. Libya’s production reached 530,000 barrels per day in October, which is about one-third of pre-crisis levels. The projected two digit growth depends on an endorsement by the country’s UN backed government.

#2 Côte d’Ivoire

Africa’s largest cocoa producer has made an impressive turnaround since the 2011 political crisis. Its economic growth is forecast to remain strong averaging 8% in 2017. The government of President Alassane Ouattara adopted a new National Development Plan (NDP) for the 2016-2020 period, which includes major structural reforms to achieve a sustained private sector and inclusive growth.

#3 Ethiopia

Ethiopia has witnessed an increased contribution from the manufacturing sector, particularly focused on increased production in sugar, textiles, leather products and cement. Revised IMF projections indicate that the country’s economy will grow by 7.5%. Ethiopia has experienced double-digit economic growth, averaging 10.8% since 2005, which has mainly been underpinned by public-sector-led development.

#4 Ghana

Ghana is experiencing economic challenges which have led to hikes in taxes, utilities and fuel prices. The good news is that economic growth is forecast to be 7.4% in 2017, provided that the fiscal consolidation programme remains on track and technical problems in the oil and gas sector are resolved.

#5 Tanzania

Tanzania’s domestic product growth rate of 7% is expected to continue into 2017. This is due to increased public consumption together with growth in the construction, communication, financial services and mining sectors. Tourism is the top foreign exchange earner and agriculture – a mainstay of about 70% of households – has continued to post slower growth.

#6 Senegal

Senegal’s economic growth rose to 6.5 percent in 2015 for the first time in more than 10 years. That is due to good weather and higher productivity in the Agriculture sector and government’s two-year economic plan which aims for 7.1 percent growth every year until 2018. The IMF’s projections show that the economy will grow by 6.5% this year and 6.8% next year. It says sound economic policies, could help sustain current levels of growth to 2035.

#7 Kenya

Kenya has made significant structural and economic reforms that have contributed to sustained economic growth in the past decade. Kenya’s National Bureau of Statistics says the economy expanded by 6.2% in the second quarter compared to 5.9% in the same period in 2015. The growth was mainly supported by various sectors including: agriculture, forestry and fishing; transportation and storage; real estate; wholesale and retail trade. The East African country is expected to grow by 6.1% in 2017.

#8 Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso’s economy is expected to expand by 5.9% in 2017. Its economy is heavily reliant on agricultural production, with nearly 80% of the active population employed in the sector. Cotton is the country’s most important cash crop, while gold exports have gained importance in recent years.

#9 Mozambique

Mozambique’s economy continues to face challenges of weaker commodity prices and lower demand amongst trading partners. According to the World Bank the situation is further aggravated by regional drought, falling investment levels, political instability and rising debt levels. However the IMF still expects the gas-rich country to grow by at least 5.5% in 2017.

#10 Central African Republic

Decades of political instability have led to mismanagement of the country’s natural resources, which include gold and diamonds. The country’s economy fell by 36% in 2013 after a coup, but with a new president things have changed. Its recovery has been very modest, growing at 4.8% in 2015 and is expected to expand by 5.5% in 2017.

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Africa.com‘s Editorial Staff is a group of writers and contributors covering Africa. The team publishes thought provoking commentary relevant to all 54 countries in Africa.

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