2016 was a tumultuous year that offered Africa investors many opportunities to make mistakes. In the first part of the year, declines in oil and mineral prices took their toll on markets in Africa (and around the world) before bottoming and reversing later in the year.
We are pleased to have avoided the major problem areas in two of Africa’s largest economies, Nigeria and Egypt, both of which suffered from weakening currencies. Poor economic performances from the continent’s two largest economies, Nigeria and South Africa, also weighed on the continent-wide growth figures.
Investors should note, however, that growth has continued to be strong in East Africa (Kenya and Tanzania) as well as Cote d’Ivoire in West Africa. In 2016, it was a tale of two Africas as the countries that are not large exporters of commodities actually did quite well, posting significantly faster growth during the past year than the continent average.