The idea that African economies are on the way up first became popular around 2010, buoyed by a commodities boom and improved governance across the continent. Now, with flat commodity prices and slowing demand from China, the narrative of “Africa Rising” has mostly fallen out of fashion.
Nigeria, the continent’s largest economy, has officially slipped into a recession. In South Africa, Africa’s second largest economy, nominal GDP has fallen an average of 7% a year over the last four years, in part the result of the rand’s free-fall. Economists have predicted that this year economic growth for sub-Saharan Africa could fall behind that of the world for the first time in 16 years.