Ethiopia, Angola economies set to overtake Kenya this year, IMF

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Kenya is set to be replaced as the third-largest economy in sub-Saharan Africa by Angola and Ethiopia, weakening East Africa’s economic power house’s economic and foreign policy influence in the world.

The latest projections by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) say that Faster GDP growth in Angola and Ethiopia will see Kenya relegated to number five in sub-Saharan Africa’s economic rankings. Nigeria will still retain its place as the biggest economy in Africa.

A return to growth linked to higher oil prices saw Angola overtake Kenya last year, according to the IMF, after the nation—which is the continent’s second-largest oil producer after Nigeria—ended years of recession.

Ethiopia is this year set to replace Kenya from position four on the back of easing armed conflict in the nation and the continuation of the ambitious economic reform drive aimed at opening up one of Africa’s fastest-growing but most closed economies.

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According to IMF Ethiopia’s economy will grow by 13.5 percent while Angola’s will expand by 8.6 percent.

Kenya is expected to grow by just 2 percent as the country grapples with the aftershocks of the Covid-19 pandemic, drought, election jitters and disruption of global supply chains by the Russia-Ukraine war.

The IMF projects Kenya’s GDP to hit $117.6 billion this year, behind Nigeria ($574 billion), South Africa ($422 billion), Angola ($135 billion) and Ethiopia ($126.2 billion).

The relegation of Kenya to position five will weaken its hand in the race for foreign direct investment (FDI), which is critical in easing the growing youth unemployment on the continent.

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