Côte d’Ivoire has seen rapid growth since a decade-long bout of civil unrest ended in 2011, registering an average GDP growth rate of 9.3% in the five years to 2016. By far the biggest economy in the UEMOA and the third largest in ECOWAS, the IMF expects GDP expansion in the West African nation to be sustained, forecasting growth of above 7% through to 2019.
As Egypt enters 2018, a newly liberalised local currency and the recent implementation of a much-anticipated investment framework have left the country well positioned for continued economic expansion: the IMF expects GDP growth to reach 4.5% in 2018 and accelerate to around 6% over the medium term.
The effects of lower oil prices continue to be felt in Oman, with budget cuts and spending rationalisation still in evidence across the board. However, higher commodity prices in late 2017 and into early 2018 should provide a welcome boost to state revenues.
Dubai saw steady GDP growth of 2.8% in 2017 and this is expected to reach 3.2% in 2018, with an increased drive towards consolidating its position as a knowledge-based economy. The emirate is among the most diversified in the region, thanks to factors such as a highly attractive business environment that has brought in large amounts of foreign investment.
Since assuming power in January 2017 the administration of President Nana Akufo-Addo has moved to rein in fiscal spending, industrialise rural regions and improve the business environment in order to jump-start economic growth. The government has brought down the fiscal deficit and freed up capital spending for priority projects, and Ghana’s economic prospects appear strong for 2018.