The steady economic growth that Africa has enjoyed over the past decade is now waning.
Global commodity prices, particularly oil, have weakened and China, Africa’s largest individual bilateral trading partner, has slowed considerably as it rebalances itself away from investment and growth.
According to the IMF, a 1 percentage point decrease in China’s investment growth is associated with an average 0.6 percentage point decrease in Africa’s export growth rate.
The depth of the China-Africa trade relationship explains why this month, the World Bank, in its annual Africa’s Pulse report, downgraded Africa’s growth projections from 4.6 per cent in 2014 to 3.7 per cent in 2015 – the lowest growth the region will have seen since the ripples of the global economic crisis hit it in 2009.
A new period of slow growth demands new and creative responses from African leaders.