Sub-Saharan Africa’s fastest growing economies in 2022

Rwanda's capital Kigali

Rwanda’s capital Kigali

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Niger, Rwanda and South Sudan, along with the island nations of Seychelles and Mauritius, are set to be sub-Saharan Africa’s fastest growing economies this year, with each expected to record GDP growth of 6% or higher, according to the latest International Monetary Fund (IMF) projections.

Looking ahead to 2023, Senegal (8.1% GDP growth), DRC (6.7%), Rwanda (6.7%), Côte d’Ivoire (6.5%), Benin (6.2%) and Togo (6.2%) are anticipated to be the region’s best performers.

The below table shows the IMF’s GDP growth projections for each sub-Saharan African country:

The region’s recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic has been sharply interrupted, according to the IMF. Last year, economic activity in sub-Saharan Africa finally bounced back, bringing GDP growth in 2021 up to 4.7%. Growth is expected to slow this year by more than 1 percentage point to 3.6%, as a worldwide slowdown and a dramatic pickup in global inflation spill into the region.

Three major global developments are reshaping sub-Saharan Africa’s outlook: the slowdown in advanced economies and emerging markets, tightening global financial conditions, and volatile commodity prices.

An intensification of the war in Ukraine or prolonged restrictions on Russian exports could add to the turmoil seen over the past year, putting additional upward pressure on food and energy prices in sub-Saharan Africa, exacerbating food affordability problems for the most vulnerable populations, and fueling social tensions. Furthermore, an escalation in geopolitical strains between Russia and Western countries could also increase global risk aversion and raise borrowing costs for the region, especially for countries with more fragile fiscal positions.