The latest sub-Saharan regional outlook from the IMF is a sobering reminder that SA is not in a very happy neighbourhood right now. The region grew by just 1.5% in 2016, its slowest rate in more than two decades. The IMF expects a rebound of sorts, to 2.5% in 2017, driven mainly by once-offs in the region’s three largest economic powers. Nigeria is seen benefiting from improved oil prices, Angola from a pre-election public spending boost and SA from the fading of the drought. But at this level the region is still growing poorer, on average, with economic growth lagging population growth. Yet within the region, some countries in East Africa and West Africa are posting much more robust growth rates, of 5% and upwards. So too are some north African countries such as Morocco, which is increasingly being seen as a hub for Francophone Africa, while it displaced SA from its number one ranking in EY’s latest Africa Attractiveness Index. In surveys and sessions at last week’s World Economic ...

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