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Global Economy and Markets

  • We continue with the serialization of our core strategy document – The Nigeria Strategy Report. We review developments in MEA (Middle-East and Africa) climes over 2018. The section also provides insights on what we believe will be major drivers of both growth and overall investor sentiment over 2019.


  • In our H2 18 strategy outlook, we charted our prospect of stronger economic growth in the SSA bloc on the back of improved agricultural output and industrial activities from smaller regions even as growth in heavy weights, Nigeria and South Africa pick up, while our prognosis for MENA region was an improvement in economic growth across both oil exporters and importers on the back of higher oil output and economic reforms.  Our views largely played out as growth in SSA gained momentum in Q3 18 after growth in Nigeria and South Africa faltered in the previous quarter. Meanwhile, higher oil price and production boosted growth in Saudi Arabia and other smaller oil-exporters while economic reforms in Egypt spurred growth on that front. Consequently, SSA GDP is projected to have ended 2018 at 2.7% (2.6% in 2017) while growth in MENA oil-exporting and oil-importing countries is estimated to have printed at 1.4% (2017: 1.2%) and 4.2% (2017: 4.1%) respectively over 2018.


  • Going into 2019, economic growth in SSA should gather some momentum in the year with GDP expected to expand by 3.4%. Particularly, improved investments and diminished policy uncertainty in the large economies together with sustained strong growth in smaller countries should support growth in the region. Similarly, despite the headwinds from a less favorable global economic environment, domestic factors in particular, policy reforms and government investment should continue to boost growth in the MENA region (+20 bps YoY to 1.9%). Amongst the major risks facing SSA and MENA economies in 2019, political crisis as well as risks over the upcoming elections in various countries is one that could be biting. Thus, the outcome of elections across both regions could make or mar investor’s confidence in the countries as witnessed in previous periods.

   Table 1: Election Calendar across SSA and MENA

Country Date
Nigeria Feb-19
Senegal Feb-19
Guinea-Bissau Mar-19
Algeria Apr-19
South Africa May-19
Israel May-19
Malawi May-19
Botswanan Oct-19
Mozambique Oct-19
Tunisia Oct-19
Namibia Nov-19
Benin TBA
Chad TBA
Mauritania TBA













*To be announced

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