The sharp decline in oil and other commodity prices have adversely impacted sub-Saharan Africa. Nevertheless, the region is projected to register another year of solid economic performance. In South Africa, however, growth is expected to remain lackluster, while in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone the Ebola outbreak continues to exact a heavy economic and social toll. This report also considers how sub-Saharan Africa can harness the demographic dividend from an unprecedented increase in the working age population, as well as the strength of the region's integration into global value chains.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
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Sub-Saharan Africa’s economy looks set to register another year of solid growth in 2015 (4½ percent). Still, this expansion will be at the lower end of the range by recent standards, and reflects the adverse shock that has hit some of the region’s largest economies due to the sharp decline in oil prices (Figure 1.1). The impact of this shock is set to be quite heterogeneous: for the eight oil exporters, it will pose a formidable challenge and, with limited buffers, will require them to undertake significant fiscal adjustment. For most other countries, lower oil prices represent a favorable development which, however, will be partly offset in some cases by lower prices of other commodities that they export.
By 2035, the number of sub-Saharan Africans reaching working age (15–64) will exceed that of the rest of the world combined (Figure 2.1). This is a trend with potentially significant implications for both the region and the global economy, as described below:
This chapter reviews the extent and strength of integration of sub-Saharan Africa into the global economy, with a special focus on trade and participation in global value chains. It evaluates how trade integration has contributed to economic performance in recent decades. Looking ahead, it examines the factors likely to allow the region to tap its still substantial trade integration potential, in particular through better positioning in global and regional value chains to support durable growth and foster structural transformation.