Many interior and foreign investment initiatives have continued to spur the growth of many economies in Africa, and Kenya is no exception. The recent influx of Chinese investment and infrastructure building in East Africa and across the continent has definitely been a major factor in the rise of economies in the region. Other countries like Brazil with its flyover project in Ghana, and Germany’s Marshall plan to improve infrastructure and favorize exports are paying dividends too. Let’s take a look at some of the numbers, some of the remaining challenges, and what this could mean for the future of the continent.
Kenya’s Economy Set to Grow by 6.1% by the End of the Year
Kenya remains one of the top performers in Africa and the economy has been forecast to grow by 6.1% this year. This is a 0.1% increase compared to last year. However, other East African countries like Rwanda and Ethiopia will grow at an even faster rate. Rwanda’s economy is set to grow by 7.8% this year and 8.5% for Ethiopia. Rwanda’s rise is really a continuation of its Cinderella story and Paul Kagame’s sound fiscal policy. Ethiopia’s growth can be attributed to the fast improvement of its infrastructure and foreign Chinese investments as well.
Countries in West Africa are Flourishing too
While Nigeria’s economy remains the biggest not only in West Africa, but on the whole continent, this is not where we’re seeing the most growth. As a matter of fact, the country didn’t make the top 10.
Countries like Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal, and Ghana all made the top 5 and are seeing impressive growth at the moment. Côte d’Ivoire’s economy is expected to grow by 7% this year, 6.7% for Senegal, and 7.6% for Ghana. The star story is Côte d’Ivoire which has experienced a rapid growth in GDP since 2012, which increased interior demand and quality of life. Governance stability has also been restored and its agriculture sector continues to be resilient.
Debt is Growing, but it is Still Manageable
While some countries are at the brink of a debt crisis, such as the Congo, Cape Verde and Eritrea, debt on the continent is still considered manageable according to the head of the IMF’s Africa department Abebe Aemro Selassie.
While he did acknowledge that debt burden was a real concern for many countries, it could all be counterbalanced by renewed growth. Debt is a natural part of massive expansion and public works, and still, not many countries on the continent have a debt to GDP ratio exceeding 100%.
However, Sudan’s situation seems to be the most alarming with a current debt to GDP ratio of 170%. If we take all countries into consideration, the total debt to GDP ratio is at around 57% now, which is far from catastrophic. There’s also the fact that many commodity exporting countries saw their GDP decrease due to price declines in the commodity sector, which negatively affected their debt to GDP ratio.
Challenges Facing Kenya Business Students
One of the many challenges facing Kenya’s industry is the state of its MBA programs and the lack of options. Kenya and the continent as a whole is in great need of fresh new MBAs to meet the demand, but many Kenyan MBA programs are following a much different structure than American or British MBAs, much to their detriment.
For instance, Kenyan MBA programs still rely on a textbook approach while most British and American MBAs are more article based. Many American MBAs also ditched the research component and aren’t concerned in creating more theory, but focusing more on the application of said theory in real world situations.
However, the advent of online MBA programs allows students from all over the continent to follow an American MBA without having to move out of the country. Programs like Suffolk University’s online MBA program are dispensed totally online and students get access to the same faculty and alumni resources as in traditional schools. Furthermore, their credentials will be recognized everywhere and will hold a lot of weight wherever graduates decide to work in the continent. Those who are interested in Suffolk’s online MBA program are encouraged to visit the following link for more information: https://online.suffolk.edu/programs/mba.
Africa is on the move, and we’re now seeing a growing middle class in many emerging economies across the continent. A better infrastructure, stable governments, and the interconnected nature of global markets are all factors leading the charge.