Data Lab: sub-Sahara African growth faces bumps in the road

Charting the region’s uneven economic development

South of the Sahara desert, economies have flourished over the past decade, earning the continent the moniker ‘Africa Rising’. But growing pains are emerging, clouding the short-term outlook for a region that has become a magnet for foreign investors.

On the surface, all looks well with the region. Growth is expected to accelerate to 6 per cent this year from 5 per cent in 2013, the International Monetary Fund estimates, making it second only to developing Asia in terms of the pace of expansion. Inflation remains well under control, having stabilised last year at 5.5 per cent, compared with 47.4 per cent 20 years ago.

But it does not take much digging to find a number of Africa’s hitherto rising stars, including Nigeria, Ghana, Uganda and Zambia, are experiencing either economic, social or political troubles – or worse, a combination of all three.

In the long run though, the long-term outlook remains intact as foreign-direct investment flows underscore. Here are nine key charts showing how sub-Saharan Africa’s growth will not be single speed.

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