South Africa is an important economy in sub-Saharan Africa and when growth is high the entire region benefits. But the latest review of South Africa's economy shows real GDP growth is estimated at about 0.4 percent in 2019 and projected to moderately rise to 1½ percent in the medium term: a level insufficient to raise per-capita income and reduce unemployment. In this podcast, economist Ana Lucia Coronel says South Africa's growth slowdown in recent years stems in part from slow reform implementation to tackle structural impediments to growth. Coronel heads the South Africa team and oversees the writing of the IMF's annual assessment of South Africa's economy.
Inefficiencies in South Africa's state-owned enterprises have triggered costly government bailouts of electricity provider Eskom and others. (iStock by Getty Images/brazzo)
It’s been almost 25 years since the end of apartheid, the system of institutionalized racial segregation that left most South Africans with limited access to basic services. The post-apartheid years saw remarkable progress in poverty reduction, access to education and healthcare and reducing unemployment. But some of those early achievements have unwound recently amid slow growth and political uncertainty. The IMF’s latest assessment of South Africa’s economy projects real GDP growth will stay slightly below 2 percent in the medium term, not enough to increase living standards or make a dent in unemployment. Ana Lucia Coronel heads the IMF team for South Africa, and in this podcast Coronel says fighting corruption and improving education will help revive economic growth.
Ana Lucia Coronel is IMF Division Chief for the Southern Africa region and heads the team for South Africa.
Nigeria’s economy is picking up according to the IMF’s latest economic review. Growth hit 0.8 percent in 2017 after contracting by 1.6 percent in 2016. The report attributes the increase—in part—to the recent recovery in oil prices. But as the country emerges from recession, the IMF’s Amine Mati says following through on planned reforms regardless of oil price swings and upcoming elections, is key to lifting Nigeria’s growth rates to where they should be. Mati heads the IMF team for Nigeria and oversaw this latest economic assessment.
Amine Mati, International Monetary Fund's mission chief and senior resident representative in Nigeria.
Drought, regional conflict, and slow credit growth are taking their toll on Uganda's economy. While per-capita growth has hovered around 5 percent for the last 20 years, the IMFs latest economic assessment shows it has fallen to 1/2 percent. In this podcast, the report's coauthor Axel Schimmelpfennig, says some strategic infrastructure investment and Uganda's untapped oil reserves could help turn things around.
Contributors: Axel Schimmelpfennig, IMF Mission Chief for Uganda
The IMF’s latest Regional Economic Outlook for Sub-Saharan Africa dedicates an entire chapter on what a drought, an earthquake or a pandemic can do to a country’s economy. In this podcast, lead authors Marshall Mills and Vimal Thakoor say natural disasters have a much bigger impact in sub-Saharan Africa than any other region.
Marshall Mills: Economist and Mission Chief for Madagascar, IMF African Department.
Vimal Thakoor: Economist, IMF African Department.
Ghana’s economy—once a model for growth in West Africa, took a turn for the worse in 2012. It’s been getting help from the IMF under a 3-year program known as the Extended Credit Facility. The IMF board has approved another US$116m, and under the arrangement Ghana could receive more than US$900m if all targets are met. In this podcast, Joël Toujas-Bernaté, IMF mission chief for Ghana, says the country is making good progress.
Joël Toujas-Bernaté, IMF Mission Chief for Ghana
While Ethiopia has been experiencing strong growth since the early 2000s, the IMF’s latest review of the country’s economy says low commodity prices and a drought have put growth levels well below 10 percent for the first time in a decade. In this podcast, we speak with Julio Escolano, IMF Mission Chief for Ethiopia, who oversaw the writing of the report.
Julio Escolano, IMF Mission Chief for Ethiopia.
South Africa faces significant challenges and needs decisive action to revive growth, the IMF said in its latest economic review. While the report acknowledges considerable economic and social progress, it shows income inequality and unemployment are unacceptably high. In this podcast, we speak with Laura Papi, IMF Mission Chief for South Africa.
Laura Papi, IMF Mission Chief for South Africa
La dernière édition des Perspectives économiques régionales,prévoit que l’Afrique subsaharienne va connaître une deuxième annéedifficile à cause des multiples chocs qui frappent la région. Dansce podcast, Céline Allard, chef de la division des étudesrégionales au Département Afrique du FMI, discute les pointsessentiels du rapport.
Contributors: Céline Allard, chef de la division des étudesrégionales au Département Afrique du FMI
The IMF's latest regional economic outlook for Sub-SaharanAfrica predicts a second difficult year as the region is hit bymultiple shocks. In this podcast, co-author Céline Allard, says thesteep decline in commodity prices and tighter financing conditionshave put many large economies under severe strain.
Contributors: Céline Allard, Head of the Regional StudiesDivision in the IMF’s African Department
Dans son dernier bilan, le FMI signale que l’économie gabonaise a été durement touchée par la chute des cours du pétrole. Dans ce podcast, nous nous entretenons avec Montfort Mlachila, chef de mission du FMI pour le Gabon. Il souligne que le pays peut accroître sa résilience et redynamiser la croissance en diversifiant son économie.
Montfort Mlachila, Chef de mission du FMI pour le Gabon.
The IMF’s most recent review of Gabon’s economy shows it’s been hit hard by the oil price decline. In this podcast, we speak with IMF Mission Chief for Gabon, Montfort Mlachila, who says the country can build resilience and revive growth by diversifying its economy.
Montfort Mlachila, IMF Mission Chief for Gabon