Countries

Algeria:

In 2016, real GDP grew by 3.5% down from 3.8% recorded the previous year on account of lower oil price.

In July 2016, the government adopted a new economic growth plan (2016-30) focusing on the private sector and a three year budget stabilization strategy.

The non-oil and gas industry accounted for no more than 5% of GDP in 2016, compared with 35% at the end of the 1980’s, so the authorities are looking towards a re-industrialization of the country.

Angola:

Angola’s economy grew by 1.1% in 2016 but is expected to pick up to 2.3% in 2017, and further to 3.2% in 2018, owing to planned increase in public spending and improved terms-of-trade as oil price recovers.

Angola needs to increase investment in human capital, pursue economic diversification to reduce economic vulnerability in order to graduate to middle-income status by 2021.

Development of local industries and strengthening of entrepreneurship skills is critical to strengthen economic recovery and foster inclusive growth.

Benin:

The economy slowed down to an estimated 4.0% from 5.2% in 2015 mainly due to electoral activity and lower growth in neighboring Nigeria.

Growth is projected to pick up in 2017 to 5.5% and 6.2% in 2018 with the start of the government’s 2016-21 action program, which aims to double investment over the period.

Supporting entrepreneurship for processing agricultural products and transitioning towards the formal sector can particularly help to industrialize the economy and ensure sustainable and more inclusive growth.

Botswana:

The economy recovered in 2016 to 2.9%, driven by the rebound in the global diamond market.

Growth prospects remain favourable but crucially depend on continued rebound in the global diamond market, improved reliability in electricity and water supply, as well as reforms.

Reducing vulnerability to adverse shocks will require accelerating the pace of reforms aimed at enhancing competitiveness and improving the business climate to promote industrialization and entrepreneurship.

Burkina Faso:

After a period of social and political unrest, the economy is expected to bounce back strongly in 2017 with growth of 8.4%, driven by extractive industries and public investment.

The country needs to underpin this revival by improving its ability to absorb investment costs and control the threat of jihadist violence.

Economic reforms under the 2011-20 plan for the industry, commerce and small producers sector have created more entrepreneurs, but new industrial sector firms are in attractive industries rather than agro-food.

Burundi:

After a recession in 2015 that saw GDP contract by 3.9%, economic growth resumed in Burundi in 2016, but too slowly (0.9%) to improve the living conditions of the population.

The socio-political crisis related expenditure led to a widening of the fiscal deficit to 6.7% of GDP in 2016 and caused excessive reliance on domestic debt, while a freeze on aid by international donors is affecting social expenditure.

Burundi’s economy is dominated by the informal sector, with multiple micro and small agro-food businesses geared towards the local market.

Cabo Verde:

After experiencing low growth due to the impact of the European and global financial crises, the economy recovered in 2016 to 3.2% and is expected to continue along the same trajectory in 2017 and 2018, with GDP growth rates of 3.7% and 4.1%, respectively.

Cabo Verde is at a crossroads: following five years of counter-cyclical fiscal policy to offset a low-growth period and rapid debt accumulation, a paradigm change is now required to make the private sector the growth engine.

Well-coordinated sector-based policies, an improved business environment and a focus on regional integration are required to remove current binding constraints to industrialization such as limited market access, high energy costs and a lack of inter-island transportation.

Cameroon:

Growth stood at 4.7% in 2016, down 1 percentage point from 2015 due to a decline in the secondary sector, especially the extractive industries.

A policy further diversifying the economy’s primary sector and rationalising infrastructure investment has mitigated budgetary and current-account imbalances.

As part of industrialization efforts, the development of agricultural, forestry and pastoral production and the efficient use of mining, mineral and energy resources will lead to a rise in the value chain, subject to sector reforms and a better business environment.

Central African Republic:

Despite a downward revision, real GDP in 2016 was estimated to have increased by 5.1%, buoyed by recovery in attractive industries.

The country is experiencing a degree of macroeconomic stability and taking measures to implement structural reforms, but the authorities still do not have control of the entire territory and people still fall victim to violence.

Due to recurring political crises, the development of entrepreneurship, industry and the private sector is extremely risky and unattractive, even for Central Africans.

Chad:

The costs involved in combating jihad movements and the continuing low world price of oil mean that economic growth, which was already negative in 2016, will again be so in 2017.

The economic, financial and security environments are particularly difficult, and the extension of structural reforms seems essential if macroeconomic stability is to be maintained in 2017.

Encouraging an entrepreneurial economy could contribute to greater economic resilience because of the greater diversity of sources of growth, income and jobs that it might generate.

Comoros:

Economic growth was 2.1% in 2016 due to the ongoing electricity crisis, but thanks to the new government’s efforts to resolve and clean up public finances, growth is projected to reach 3.4% in 2017 and 4.1% in 2018.

The 2016 elections led to political change: the new President of the Union and the three island governors were all elected from the opposition.

With a narrow economic base and a predominantly informal economy, the islands remain under-industrialized (10% of GDP), and the country is looking to adopt a regional strategy to address this issue.

Congo:

The economy shrank by 2.4% in 2016 (after expanding by 2.6% the previous year), amid difficult conditions worldwide, in particular a sharp drop in oil prices, and is expected to grow by 0.5% in 2017.

The proportion of the population living in poverty fell from 50.2% to 37% between 2005 and 2011, but social indicators remain mixed, and some are incompatible with Congo’s status as a middle-income country (MIC).

Despite its major potential, industry has not developed to become the engine to drive the economy and structural transformation.

Congo, Democratic Republic:

The growth rate of the Congolese economy fell from 6.9% in 2015 to 2.5% in 2016, but could rebound to 4.0% in 2017 and 5.2% in 2018, given the expected rise in prices of the country’s raw materials.

The DRC made some progress in terms of human development in 2016, but that progress remains fragile.

Significant efforts will be required to operational the country’s strategic frameworks for entrepreneurship and industrialization.

Côte D’Ivoire:

Economic growth remains strong but still relies on exporting raw materials, especially crops, which are subject to variations in global prices and climate risks.

Significant progress has been made in access to health care, education and social protection, but the past five years’ growth does not cover the strong social demand.

Major political reforms were undertaken in 2016 in a context still marked by a weak opposition and large protests.

Djibouti:

Driven by large investment projects, growth remained buoyant at 6.3% in 2016 and is projected to rise to 6.7% in 2017 and 6.8% in 2018.

After widening for two consecutive years, the budget deficit improved in 2016, but debt remained critical, with an economy focused on services, transport in particular.

To reach its potential, the economy will require structural change to improve the low density of the country’s economic fabric and its low level of diversification.

Egypt:

The economic outlook for 2017 remains cautiously optimistic largely based on the government’s ability to maintain the policy and structural reform agenda as well as successfully implement the sustainable development strategy.

Assuming economic policy and structural reform implementation, growth is expected to accelerate as confidence returns and investment increases, although some domestic issues and global economic headwinds will remain challenges.

Overall, Egypt can reverse the major and long-standing trend of low and non-inclusive growth along with weak employment prospects on the basis of the potential of the industrial and entrepreneurial sectors.

Equatorial Guinea:

Real GDP contracted by 8.2% in 2016 and is expected to shrink further by 5.9% in 2017. This recession is related to lower production in the oil and gas sectors.

Large hydrocarbon revenues made it possible in 2016 to continue major structural changes underway for over 20 years, both in infrastructure and human development.

One of the major challenges in stimulating entrepreneurship is the opening up of the market, in particular the improvement of the business climate and better regional integration.

Eritrea:

Real GDP growth slowed down to 3.8% in 2016 from 4.8% in 2015, reflecting challenges in the business and investment environment and capacity gaps in government institutions.

The government’s decision to access supplemental-support resources from the AfDB’s Transition Support Facility (TSF) to scale up investments in agriculture should strengthen resilience and improve livelihoods for the majority of the rural population.

Eritrea’s rich entrepreneurial tradition, despite constraints including the energy supply deficit, skills mismatch and poor telecommunication infrastructure, provides opportunities for private-sector growth and industrialization.

Ethiopia:

Real GDP growth slowed to 8.0% in 2015/161 from 10.4% last year and is projected to remain stable at 8.1% in 2016/17 and 2017/18.

Public protests disrupted the nation in 2016 in the Oromia and Amhara regions, with the protesters citing concerns about political and economic marginalization. The authorities declared a six-month state of emergency in October 2016, enacting a variety of measures to restore peace.

Ethiopia’s national development plans place emphasis on promoting export-led industrialization with a focus on light manufacturing. However, the contribution of the industrial sector to GDP, employment and exports remains low.

Gabon:

Real GDP growth declined to 2.9% in 2016 from 4% the previous year, mainly due to the lower price of oil.

Economic diversification should take account of high unemployment levels, notably among youth (46% of those under 25 are jobless), and a 34.3% poverty rate.

In order to encourage entrepreneurship and industrialization, the government is focusing on developing vocational skills among youth.

Gambia:

Growth declined to 2.1% in 2016 due to policy slippages and electoral uncertainty, but is expected to rebound to 3.5% in 2017 and 4.8% in 2018 following a peaceful political transition.

The outlook depends on the ability of the new administration to carry out a smooth and fast transition in order to make needed reforms and set the basis for structural transformation.

Industrial policy suffers from a lack of core infrastructure, technological innovation and the lack of regional integration needed for the economy to reap the benefits of a much larger market.

Ghana:

Real GDP growth is estimated to have slowed for the fifth consecutive year due to tightened monetary and fiscal policies, among other factors, but is projected to recover in 2017 and 2018 if the non-oil economy improves and as new hydrocarbon wells come on stream.

The December 2016 elections resulted in the transition of political power to the opposition political party and some changes are to be expected in policy direction, including emphasis on measures to unleash private sector development.

While industry is the second largest contributor to Ghana’s GDP, its performance could be strengthened if industrial support policies and programs were better targeted and measures to improve access to finance and tackle constraints related to skills and infrastructure could be prioritized.

Guinea:

In 2016, growth bounced back to 4.9% thanks to political appeasement and good performance in mining and agriculture after two years of weak growth (1.1% in 2014 and 0.1% in 2015) mainly due to the Ebola epidemic.

Social cohesion and reducing inequalities have remained pressing challenges in a context of endemic poverty, which is worse in rural areas.

Turning the authorities’ vision for change into economic and social progress is encumbered by a systemic shortage in the administration’s capacities and piecemeal, poorly coordinated implementation of decisions and actions.

Guinea-Bissau:

Projected real GDP growth of about 5% in 2017 and 2018 is expected to strengthen the post-transition recovery but political uncertainty remains an obstacle to a tangible economic take-off.

Economic and social prospects remain fragile because they depend strongly on the cashew sector, on the continuity of reforms undertaken and on the political environment.

The industrialization of Guinea-Bissau requires basic infrastructures to be rebuilt, especially for transport and energy, which cannot currently support the blossoming secondary sector; it also requires an improved business climate and stronger human capital.

Kenya:

Real GDP growth increased to an estimated 6.0% in 2016, up from 5.6% in 2015, with the expansion projected to continue in 2017 and 2018, supported by large investments and growth in the service sector.

A stable macroeconomic environment with single-digit inflation (averaging 6% in 2016) prevailed as political campaigning for the August 2017 general elections got underway.

Kenya has sophisticated entrepreneurship by regional standards but could increase its global footprint through increased investments in information technology.

Lesotho:

The economy is on a recovery trajectory with 2016 GDP growth estimated at 3.1%, largely driven by a booming tertiary sector and mining investment, while the outlook is for higher growth in 2017 and 2018. 

In spite of the boost in economic growth, high unemployment and inequality have intensified poverty to 56.2% of the population, calling for a more aggressive response to realize more inclusive development outcomes.

The existing policy linking entrepreneurship and industrialization, a key instrument to create jobs, could be supported by a multitude of factors including technological entrepreneurship that is central to the whole process of meaningful structural transformation.

Liberia:

Weak commodity prices continue to weigh on Liberia’s economy, which contracted by an estimated 0.5% in 2016. Economic growth is expected to strengthen in the medium term, reaching around 4% in 2017.

The government faces the challenge of staying focused on development priorities during an election year, while also contending with weak growth weighing on revenues, limited borrowing capacity, and added expenditure pressures linked to security and the election.

The government is pursuing a number of measures to help diversify the economy, increase productivity and entrepreneurship, and encourage value addition and investment in the agriculture sector.

Libya:

Real GDP growth was -8.1% in 2016, against -10.1% the previous year, due to a slight improvement in oil production, and is expected to recover to -4.9% in 2017 following exemption from OPEC’s supply cap, the recapture of eastern ports and reopening of oil pipelines.

A persistent struggle for power has prevented the rival governments from converging towards common ground.

Political instability, humanitarian crisis and security issues continue to hinder efforts to re-establish control over the economy and most national strategies, including those related to industrialization and entrepreneurship, have remained on hold.

Madagascar:

The economy expanded by 4.0% in 2016 with 4.5% predicted for 2017 after five years of sluggish growth.

This growth will depend on political stability and enactment of structural reforms.

To speed up industrialization and promote inclusive growth, the government must push ahead with creating special economic zones (SEZ) and helping micro enterprises to flourish via a financial sector adapted to the needs of start-ups .

Malawi:

Economic growth in 2016 remained sluggish at 2.7% due largely to the El Niño induced drought, but is projected to improve to 4.0% in 2017 and further accelerate to 5% in 2018.

Malawi was among countries in the Southern African Region worst affected by the drought, with 36% of the population requiring food relief. It is crucial for Malawi to build resilience to weather-related shocks to attain food security and to achieve sustainable development.

Coherent national policy efforts to promote and nurture entrepreneurship are necessary to create enabling conditions for industrialization. This will require multi-pronged efforts to improve the business environment, develop skills, and strengthen provision of business development services to Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs).

Mali:

Economic growth was a robust 5.3% in 2016, and is expected to remain so in 2017 based on strong domestic demand.

Despite the signing of a peace and national reconciliation agreement in June 2015, the security situation was a cause for concern in 2016, with unrelenting rebel attacks against United Nations forces and the national army, plus mutually destructive fighting.

The modest entrepreneurial sector, concentrated around the capital Bamako, has real investment opportunities but must overcome significant obstacles that the authorities are trying to remove.

Mauritania:

The economy grew by an estimated 3.1% up from 2% in 2015 despite a sharp fall in the price of iron ore.

The economic outlook is more favorable in the short and medium term, thanks to higher projected industrial and mining output, good performances in agriculture and fisheries and continuing structural reform.

An improved business climate is vital for the emergence of a true local entrepreneurial class that can speed up industrialization and create decent jobs thereby reducing poverty and social inequality.

Mauritius:

The pace of economic growth was moderate in 2016, with the economy growing by 3.6% compared with 3.4% in 2015 reflecting a slight increase in domestic investment that was offset by weak external demand.

Political stability and sound macroeconomic management continue to promote investor confidence. Higher skills and productivity levels would make the country more competitive and innovative.

The government has demonstrated firm commitment to promoting, industrialization and entrepreneurship, in an effort to boost sustainable economic growth and enhance the competitiveness of the economy.

Morocco:

Morocco’s economy grew by an estimated 1.5% in 2016 due to the adverse impact of poor rainfall but the economy is projected to grow by 3.7% in 2017.

Parliamentary elections in October 2016 were won by the right-wing Islamist Justice and Development Party.

COP22, held in Marrakesh in November 2016, led to the signing of the Paris Agreement, ratified by 115 countries that produce more than 75% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

Mozambique:

GDP growth declined to 4.3% in 2016 due to fiscal tightening, slowdown in foreign direct investment and the “hidden” debt crisis; it is expected to pick up to 5.5%, driven by exports from the attractive sector.

Though the incidence of poverty has declined, the number of poor people remains almost the same, amidst growing inequalities.

A weak manufacturing sector employs just 3.2% of the population, and is made up of small and micro-enterprises (90%).

Namibia:

Growth sharply moderated to 1.3% in 2016 but should rebound in 2017 as the agriculture sector recovers and production from new mines accelerates.

On-going fiscal consolidation policy measures to reduce public debt and help address the current account imbalance will need to protect growth-promoting public investments.

The “Growth at Home” strategy for industrialization and the policy for promoting micro, small and medium enterprises provide a strong foundation for diversification and job creation but the pace for business environment reforms needs increasing to support entrepreneurship.

Niger:

Economic growth rebounded to 5.2% in 2016 from 3.5% in 2015, thanks mainly to agricultural production and growth is projected to remain strong at 5.6% in 2017.

Terrorism and security threats from neighboring countries (Mali, Libya and Nigeria), falling world oil and uranium prices, and slower growth in the Nigerian economy continue to have an impact on Niger’s economic situation. 

Entrepreneurship in Niger is mainly informal, while industrialization remains weak and continues to face several challenges, including problems with electricity supply.

Nigeria:

In 2016, Nigeria’s economy slipped into recession for the first time in more than two decades reflecting adverse economic shocks, inconsistent economic policies, and deepening security problems in the north east and Delta regions.

The outlook for 2017 is for a moderate economic recovery with real GDP projected to grow at 2.2% spurred by increased infrastructure spending and restoration of oil production to previous levels.

The government has initiated a plan for an integrated framework for development programs in the north east through implementation of targeted social safety initiatives across the country. Private investments are a key policy priority, aimed at driving economic diversification through entrepreneurship and industrialization in the lead sectors of agribusiness, manufacturing and mining.

Rwanda:

GDP growth slowed to 6.0% in 2016 and headline inflation rose sharply to 7.2%, the highest level since 2012.

Rwanda remains peaceful and stable and preparation for the August 2017 presidential elections have commenced, with the constitution amended to address presidential term limits.

Macroeconomic stability and an increasingly attractive investment climate are creating a favorable environment for business start-ups, entrepreneurs and other private sector actors.

Sao Tome & Principe:

Sao Tome and Principe’s economy was estimated to have grown by 5% in 2016, led by agricultural investment and tourism, and growth is set to continue in 2017 and 2018 by 5.5% on average.

The country has improved on the Mo-Ibrahim Index of African Governance moving to 11th place in 2016 from 13th in 2015 reflecting efforts to improve good governance.

The economy depends on inputs and technology from abroad and has a very limited industrial ecosystem, yet the government has no industrialization strategy.

Senegal:

The economy grew by an estimated 6.7% in 2016, with 6.8% expansion predicted for 2017 and 7% in 2018.

The Mo Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG) ranked Senegal 10th out of 54 countries in 2016 and one of the three that improved their position in the four categories of the index.

The country’s industrial sector is 92.5% made up of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) but large firms (7.5%) account for 90% of added value.

Seychelles:

Growth slowed to 4.8% in 2016 from 5.7% in 2015 after a robust period of growth that allowed Seychelles to reach high-income status in 2015.

The medium-term outlook is moderate, with real GDP projected to grow at 3.5% in 2017 and 3.3% in 2018, driven by tourism, ICT and fisheries.

Enhanced attention to entrepreneurship, skills development and improved financial inclusion will help Seychelles achieve a more inclusive and sustainable growth performance with greater diversification.

Sierra Leone:

The economy recovered from the after effects of the Ebola epidemic, growing by 4.3% in 2016 from -21.1% the year before.

The country has introduced austerity measures in the 2017 budget, and is clearly moving towards a more restrictive trade regime by introducing new tariffs.

To overcome the difficulty of accessing credit for SMEs, the National Strategy for Financial Inclusion (2017-20) was launched in late 2016.

Somalia:

Real GDP growth in Somalia, estimated at 3.7% for 2016, is projected to decelerate to about 2.5% in 2017 because of lower agricultural output but will recover to about 3.5-4.5% in 2018-19.

Creating jobs for the youth, providing social services such as education and health, and building sustainable livelihoods are the immediate key development challenges in Somalia.

Somalia’s entrepreneurial private sector is one of the country’s main assets and an important partner for development actors.

South Africa:

Economic growth decelerated to 0.3% in 2016 although it is expected to rebound to 1.1% in 2017 and higher in later years.

Growth prospects will be driven by moderately stronger global growth, more favorable weather conditions, reliable electricity supply, less volatile labor relations, recovering business and consumer confidence, and stabilizing commodity prices.

The industrialization strategy is geared towards promoting entrepreneurship, which will also help to generate employment.

South Sudan:

Macroeconomic performance has continued to deteriorate because of the country’s fragile situation and continuing low worldwide oil prices while growth fell by 0.2% in 2015 and the fiscal and current account deficits have increased sharply.

On 14 December 2016 the president announced the launch of a national dialogue initiative with the aim of protecting and preserving the unity of the people of South Sudan, ending their suffering, restoring the economy, and focusing on state and nation building.

South Sudan does not have a broad and substantive history of private sector development from which entrepreneurial culture will easily develop.

Sudan:

Economic growth slowed in 2016 to an estimated 3% as a result of the decline in oil production and macroeconomic imbalances and is projected at 3.4% in 2017 and 3.6% in 2018 on the back of improved performance in the non-oil sector and temporary lifting of US sanctions.

The government’s attempts to expand the democratic space in the context of national dialogue augur well for an improved economic performance and political stability.

The share of Sudan’s entrepreneurs outside agriculture is sizable but the limited number of entrepreneurial programs, scarce technical training and the challenging business environment call for a coherent national strategy to boost and harness entrepreneurial energy and talent for inclusive growth.

Swaziland:

Economic growth remains subdued and is estimated to have slowed down in 2016 to -0.6%, mainly due to two factors, severe drought and fiscal pressures; while prospects will be sluggish in 2017 and 2018.

The political scene has continued to be relatively stable since the September 2013 elections, but the country’s ranking in participation and human rights remains low.

Swaziland possesses a prominent industrial sector with a limited level of entrepreneurship that can be enhanced through a comprehensive industrial policy to develop local entrepreneurs and create productive employment for the citizens.

Tanzania:

Growth in real GDP is estimated at 7.2% in 2016 with the same rate projected for 2017, driven mainly by strong performance in industry, construction, services, and information and communication sectors.

Fiscal position has remained healthy and ongoing efforts by the government to improve revenue mobilization as well as efficiency in public spending will help in maintaining the good performance.

While the level of industrialization in Tanzania is low, the government’s medium term development program is focused on nurturing industrialization as a means of achieving economic transformation, and the government has demonstrated a strong commitment to implement the program successfully.

Togo:

Togo’s economy slowed to 5% growth in 2016 from 5.3% in 2015, due to lower government investment and less port activity.

The government’s 2017-19 economic program aims to reduce public debt from 76% of GDP in 2016 to 56.4% by 2021.

The government is raising money for a 2016-18 industrial program to boost agro-industry and set up an entrepreneur fund.

Tunisia:

Real GDP growth rate of 1.0% was lower than the 2.6% predicted in the 2016 budget but is projected to increase with accelerated implementation of the 2016-20 strategic development (PSD).

The new administration elected on 31 August 2016 called for reforms to be intensified.

Tunisia raised TND 34 billion (Tunisian dinars) in pledged public and private funding at an international conference on investment held in late November to promote the creation of more wealth and jobs.

Uganda:

Growth in the Ugandan economy slowed down to 4.8% in 2016 from 5.5% the previous year but is projected to rebound strongly in 2017 to 5.1% and expand further to 5.8% the following year.

Uganda has made limited progress in improving human development but the National Development Plan (NDP II) envisages significant investments that could contribute to increased human capital development.

With a significant share of the active labor force (35.5%) engaged in entrepreneurship, Uganda is one of the world’s most entrepreneurial nations but lacks a dedicated strategy or policy and comprehensive program to support it effectively.

Zambia:

Although the next twelve months look more promising, Zambia faced economic challenges in 2016 following another year of low copper prices and crippling electricity supply deficits affecting economic activity.

The new government took office in September 2016 and has started implementing its economic reform program that aspires to expand growth and restore budget credibility while reducing the fiscal deficit.

Job creation guided by an Industrialization Strategy is a key priority of the government as Zambia still retains a low formal employment base of just 11% of total employment.

Zimbabwe:

In 2016, Zimbabwe’s growth more than halved to 0.5% from 1.1% in 2015. The government responded to the challenging environment by instituting a raft of measures including a temporary ban on imports, issuance of bond notes and introduction of a command agriculture system.

Zimbabwe’s GDP growth is projected to increase by 1.3% in 2017 spurred mainly by agriculture in view of favorable rains, tourism, manufacturing, construction and financial sectors.

Stimulating entrepreneurship and industrialization will require deep reforms to improve the business environment and promote employment creation.