While the economic outlook in much of the world has turned less downbeat in recent weeks, the prospects for Sub-Saharan Africa’s two biggest economies have, if anything, got gloomier due to homegrown economic troubles. In South Africa, power cuts – a perennial drag on growth – have increased in severity over the past months. And there is growing evidence that “loadshedding” is dampening activity in sectors other than energy-intensive industries. Meanwhile in Nigeria, ongoing demonetisation efforts are disrupting activity in the lead-up to the late-February elections. And some proposals of key presidential contenders would involve further economic pain in the near term too.
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