Africa Watch

Africa Watch

Agriculture in Africa: An underappreciated opportunity

Most African economies remain heavily-dependent on the agricultural sector. Indeed, weather-related disruptions often play a key role in determining swings in headline economic growth. The sector is currently very inefficient, but it has the potential to be a key driver of faster and more inclusive economic growth.

18 May 2018

Africa Watch

SA: Minimum wage shows difficulty of economic reform

South African policymakers are being forced to delay the introduction of a long-planned national minimum wage bill. Overall, we think that the bill is probably a positive step for the country. The government’s failure to implement it on time, however, is a worrying reminder of the difficulty of reforming South Africa’s economy.

17 April 2018

Africa Watch

African Trade: The devil is in the details

Political leaders from across Africa have gathered in Rwanda to sign an ambitious new trade pact. The African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) has been billed as the first step to creating a single African market that will bring down costs and boost competition across the continent. We stress, however, that today was only one small step in a very long process.

21 March 2018
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Africa Watch

Nigeria: Rebound is underway

Nigeria’s economy finally exited recession in the middle of 2017, but growth remained very weak. The latest figures, however, suggest that the economy accelerated going into the start of this year. This supports our view that growth will exceed consensus expectations in 2018.

Africa Watch

Angola: Prepare for turbulence

Since his election late last year, President João Lourenço has embarked on a surprisingly bold programme of economic reforms. In this Watch we argue that President Lourenço’s reform plans will help to boost medium-term growth, but will push the economy back into recession in 2018.

Africa Watch

South Africa: A guide to the ANC national conference

Long simmering political tensions within the African National Congress (ANC) will come to the boil next week when the ruling party meets for its national conference. But while the summit has cast a long shadow over South Africa this year, we think that the mechanics of the meeting are poorly understood by many foreign observers. In this Watch, we will answer a few key questions.

Africa Watch

Africa’s business environment: A look behind the numbers

An improved performance by several African economies – notably Nigeria – on the World Bank’s Doing Business index has resulted in some very positive headlines. But we would caution against assigning too much weight to the annual index.

Africa Watch

South Africa: Markets mispricing interest rate moves

Market expectations towards South African interest rates have shifted markedly in recent weeks. While a rate cut next month is no-longer likely, we think that the markets have moved too far, and are now under-estimating the chance of looser policy over the coming quarters.

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