Kenya is set to be replaced as the third-largest economy in sub-Saharan Africa by Angola and Ethiopia, weakening the East African country’s power to tap investors enticed with a population that has more cash to spend.
Faster GDP growth in Angola and Ethiopia will see Kenya relegated to number five in sub-Saharan Africa’s economic rankings, according to projections by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that show Nigeria as the largest economy on the continent.
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.
The IMF expects the economies of Ethiopia and Angola this year to expand by 13.5 percent and 8.6 percent respectively on dollar terms.
However, Kenya is projected to record a slower growth of 2.4 percent in the review period 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.