Here are the most competitive economies in sub-Saharan Africa. The sub-Saharan African region has provided something of a silver lining in an otherwise broadly felt global economic downturn in recent years, according to the latest edition of the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report, which assesses 144 economies. Sub-Saharan economies continued to register impressive growth rates of close to 5% in 2013 – with rising projections for the next two years – below only emerging and developing Asia.
Yet significant risks remain. More than half of the 20 lowest-ranked countries in the report are sub-Saharan, and many markets have insufficient infrastructure and poor levels of health and basic education. More than a decade of consistent high growth has not yet trickled down to all segments of the population and most economic activity takes place in the informal sector, which employs more than 80% of the population.
The region’s challenge is to turn high growth into inclusive growth and make the transition from agriculture-based economies to higher value-added activities.
The report ranks markets on 12 key measures that influence competitiveness, including infrastructure, education and innovation. The following are the top 10 performers in the region.
Lesotho has positive macroeconomic conditions have helped the country climb up the global rankings, though the provision of health and education is lacking, as is the case in many countries in this region. Access to finance and concerns about corruption are the biggest business challenges in Lesotho, along with the poor provision of infrastructure and an inadequately educated work force.