International Monetary Fund

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World Economic and Financial Surveys

Regional Economic Outlook:
Sub-Saharan Africa

Building Momentum in a Multi-Speed World

May 2013
©2013 International Monetary Fund

Growth remained strong in the region in 2012, with regional GDP rates increasing in most countries (excluding Nigeria and South Africa). Projections point to a moderate, broad-based acceleration in growth to around 5½ percent in 2013¬14, reflecting a gradually strengthening global economy and robust domestic demand. Investment in export-oriented sectors remains an important economic driver, and an agriculture rebound in drought-affected areas will also help growth. Uncertainties in the global economy are the main risk to the region’s outlook, but plausible adverse shocks would likely not have a large effect on the region’s overall performance.

In Brief
1.  Building Momentum in a Multi-Speed World
  Introduction and Summary
  Robust Performance and Strong Outlook
  Risk Scenario Analysis
  Policy Issues and Recommendations
  Concluding Remarks
2.  Strengthening Fiscal Policy Space
  Introduction and Summary
  The Level of Public Debt as a Constraint on Financing Deficits
  Availability of Financing as a Constraint on Avoiding Procyclicality
  Strengthening Fiscal Positions Over the Medium-Term—To What End?
3.  Issuing International Sovereign Bonds: Opportunities and Challenges for Sub-Saharan Africa
  Introduction and Summary
  Experience with Sovereign Bond Issues in Sub-Saharan Africa
  Sub-Saharan Africa’s Candidates for Debut Sovereign Bonds
  Concluding Remarks
4.  Reforming Energy Subsidies
  Energy Subsidies in Sub-Saharan Africa: Costly, Poorly Targeted, and Inefficient
  Challenges to Energy Subsidy Reform
  Elements of a Successful Reform Strategy
Statistical Appendix
Publications of the IMF African Department, 2009–13
1.1 Revisions to National Accounts Estimates among Sub-Saharan African Countries
1.2 Changing Monetary Policy Frameworks in East Africa
1.3 Debt Trends in Selected Sub-Saharan African Countries
1.4 The Financing of Current Account Deficits in Low-Income Countries
1.5 The Sectoral Distribution of Employment in Sub-Saharan Africa
2.1 Public Debt Sustainability Threshold
2.2 Do Vulnerable Low-Income Countries Have Fiscal Policy Space?
3.1 Sub-Saharan Africa: Local Currency Bond Markets
3.2 Zambia: Accessing International Sovereign Bond Markets
3.3 Nigeria: Issuing a Sovereign Bond
3.4 Côte d’Ivoire: Bond Issuance for Debt Restructuring
4.1 Energy Reforms Payoff in Kenya and Uganda
4.2 Mitigating Measures to Protect the Poor
1.1 Sub-Saharan Africa: Real GDP Growth
1.2 Sub-Saharan Africa: Other Macroeconomic Indicators
3.1 Sub-Saharan Africa: Sovereign Bond Issuances
3.2 Sub-Saharan Africa: Sovereign Credit Ratings, March 2013
3.3 Sub-Saharan Africa: Maximum Amortization in 2013–17 Exceeding 500 million U.S. dollars
3.4 Comparison of Financing Sources
1.1 Sub-Saharan Africa: Food and Nonfood Inflation
1.2 Sub-Saharan Africa: Overall Fiscal Balance, 2007–14
1.3 Sub-Saharan Africa: General Government Debt, 2007–14
1.4 Sub-Saharan Africa: External Current Account Balance, 2004–14
1.5 Sub-Saharan Africa: Exports and Imports by Regional Groups
1.6 Sub-Saharan Africa: Stock Market Indices
1.7 Sub-Saharan Africa: Reserve Coverage and Current Account Balance
1.8 Selected Regions: Real GDP Growth, 2008–14
1.9 Selected Regions: Inflation, 2008–14
1.10 Sub-Saharan Africa: Growth Prospects, 2013 and 2014
1.11 Sub-Saharan Africa: Downside Scenarios
2.1 Sub-Saharan Africa: Density of Public Sector Debt, 2000–12
2.2 Sub-Saharan Africa: Total Public Debt Accumulation Decomposition, 2000–12
2.3 Sub-Saharan Africa: Change in Public Sector Debt, 2007–12
2.4 Sub-Saharan Africa: Public Sector Debt in 2012 and Sustainability Thresholds
2.5 Sub-Saharan Africa: Density of Public Sector Debt, 2012–17
2.6 Sub-Saharan Africa: Public Sector Debt in 2012, 2017, and Sustainability Thresholds
2.7 Sub-Saharan Africa: Composition of Government Deficit Financing, 2007–12
2.8 Sub-Saharan Africa: Composition of Government Deficit Financing, 2008–12
2.9 Sub-Saharan Africa: External Budget Support, 2007–12
2.10 Sub-Saharan Africa: Composition of Credit, end-2012 or the Most Recent Year Available
2.11 Sub-Saharan Africa: Changes in Government Deposits, 2000–12
2.12 Sub-Saharan Africa: Government Deposits in Banking System and Foreign Reserves, end-2012 or the Most Recent Year Available
3.1 Sub-Saharan Africa: Recent Sovereign Bond Issuances
3.2 Sub-Saharan Africa: Sovereign Debt Restructurings with Private Creditors, 1980–2010
3.3 Sub-Saharan Africa: Primary Fiscal Balance, Expenditure, and Public Debt-Cases Other than Debt Restructuring
3.4 Sub-Saharan Africa: Primary Fiscal Balance, Expenditure, and Public Debt-Cases InvolvingDebt Restructuring
3.5 Sub-Saharan Africa: Share of Public Debt Denominated in Foreign Currency
3.6 Sub-Saharan Africa: Public Investment after Bond Issuance
3.7 Sub-Saharan Africa: Sovereign Bond Issuance Terms
3.8 Sub-Saharan Africa: Market Performance for Selected Countries
3.9 Sub-Saharan Africa: Sovereign Bond Ratings, 2012
3.10 Sub-Saharan Africa: Total Public External Debt by Creditor, 2011
4.1 Selected Regions: Electricity Production, 1975–2009