Africa’s rapid growth over the past few years is changing its image and has very much put it on the agenda of investors seeking higher returns than they can get elsewhere.
But the latest Global Competitiveness Reportfrom the World Economic Forum suggests that African countries – and particularly its biggest economies – are at best stagnating and at worst backsliding when it comes to how well they can compete.
“An assessment of the competitiveness of African economies raises questions about how sustainable this growth will be over the longer term and highlights areas in need of urgent attention to allow Africa to achieve its full economic potential,” the report said.
The index measures how well placed countries are to compete on a range of categories and then calculates an overall score ranging from Switzerland’s 5.63 at the top of the table to Chad’s 2.73 at the bottom. The top performer in sub-Saharan Africa was South Africa on 4.32.
Looking at the chart, Nigeria is conspicuous by how far its score has slipped. South Africa and Kenya aren’t down much, but their performance is hardly impressive. Ghana and Mauritius did well. Far and away the greatest improvement in absolute terms is for Zimbabwe, but perhaps that shouldn’t be so much of a surprise given where it’s coming from – and it is still ranked 136 out of 139 countries on the index.
Could this be a sign that African growth and the current enthusiasm will run out of steam? Or are other forces more important?
It’s interesting to note that all the BRIC countries of Brazil, Russia, India and China – the large and dynamic emerging market powers – showed a significant improvement in competitiveness in the survey.
Syndicated via Reuters