Ethiopia overtakes Ghana as Africa’s fastest growing economy

Ethiopia has overtaken Ghana as Africa’s fastest growing economy, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said on Tuesday.

Ghana – the second-biggest economy – is expected to experience a 6.3 per cent gain this year, the IMF’s World Economic Outlook released on Tuesday shows.

The figure is lower than the 8.9 per cent forecast in October, and is also less that the raised 7.4 per cent estimate for Cote d’Ivoire and the prediction for Ethiopia, which was held at 8.5 per cent.

Commodities including oil, gold and cocoa are the mainstay of Ghana’s US $43 billion economy, which surged 8.5 per cent last year as the Sankofa crude field started up in May.

Ghana’s growth booms and busts have been closely linked to oil since it became a producer in 2010.

Ethiopia, whose gross domestic product is almost double Ghana’s, has drawn investors including General Electric Co., Johannesburg-based Standard Bank Group and hundreds of Chinese companies.

The IMF increased its forecast for expansion in sub-Saharan Africa to 3.4 percent this year and 3.7 percent the next “as the challenging outlook in commodity exporters gradually improves,” it said.

Nigeria, the region’s most-populous nation and top crude producer, will grow 2.1 per cent, matching the lender’s estimate released in the 22 January update to the outlook, while South Africa, the world’s biggest source of platinum, will expand 1.5 percent, more than the 0.9 percent prediction three months ago. The two economies account for almost half of the region’s GDP.