Business Monitor International


Francophone West Africa Business Forecast Report

Published 26 February 2014

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Francophone West Africa Business Forecast Report
  • Political Risk will remain elevated in Francophone West Africa, a region which is characterised by weak state institutions and lasting political instability. Violence in Mali and the collapse of the Central African Republic highlight the fragility of impoverished inland countries, and the need for regional solutions to failed states.

  • Long-term Economic G rowth in Francophone West Africa will average just 5.0% between 2014 and 2023, much lower than the 6.4% that we forecast for Sub-Saharan Africa (excluding South Africa). BMI believes that the economies of UEMOA will outperform those of CEMAC, many of which are struggling with stagnating oil production.

  • Economic growth in Côte d'Ivoire will remain elevated, averaging 8.0% between 2014 and 2017 due to increasing consumer spending and government infrastructure projects. A new nationality law offers hope that the country may eventually move past its divisive 'Ivoirité' debate, though we stress that progress will be slow.

  • In Cameroon economic growth will remain below 5.0% over the duration of our forecast period. A poor business environment is holding back economic diversification, preventing broad-based growth.

  • The inability of the Central African Republic's new government to establish its authority over the impoverished country has led to a political vacuum and a humanitarian crisis. A French-backed intervention is becoming increasingly likely, but we doubt that it will forestall an economic collapse

  • The Republic of the Congo ( Congo-Brazzaville) will be the fastest-growing economy in the CEMAC bloc due to high government infrastructure spending and a booming iron ore sector. The growth of a new export industry will mitigate the effect of stagnating oil revenues.

  • In Equatorial Guinea, however, falling oil production is causing an economic crisis. GDP will contract by 0.4% in 2014 as falling revenues disrupt the government's ambitious investment plans.

  • Gabon's fiscal balance is deteriorating...

Table of Contents

Executive Summary
9
Chapter 1: Regional Outlook
11
Long-Term Political Outlook
11
Enduring Fragility Across Francophone West Africa
11
table: Political Systems
12
Monetary Policy
15
UEMOA Inflation Stabilising But Remaining Contained
15
Economic Outlook
16
Key Obstacles To Economic Integration In Central Africa
16
Economic integration in Central Africa will continue to be hamstrung by interstate disputes, overlapping regional institutions, and a lack
Economic integration in Central Africa will continue to be hamstrung by interstate disputes, overlapping regional institutions, and a lack
of political leadership
Chapter 2
19
Domestic Politics
19
Significant Reconciliation Unlikely In 2014
19
The Ouattara administration has put political reconciliation at the top of the agenda in C-te d'Ivoire in 2014
Table: Political Overview
19
Chapter 2
21
Economic Activity
21
Economic Growth To Remain Strong In 2014
21
We believe that C-te d'Ivoire's economy will continue to grow rapidly over the coming years, with real GDP growth averaging 8
9
%between 2014 and 2018
TABLE: ECONOMIC ACTIVITY
21
Chapter 2
23
The Ivorian Economy To 2023
23
A Bright Decade Ahead, But Fragilities To Persist
23
While growth over the next 10 years is expected to improve on the last decade, political uncertainty continues to exert a downward pull
While growth over the next 10 years is expected to improve on the last decade, political uncertainty continues to exert a downward pull
on the country's potential
TABLE: Long-Term Macroeconomic Forecasts
23
Chapter 2
25
Business Environment Outlook
25
Institutions
25
TABLE: BMI BUSINESS AND OPERATION RISK RATINGS
25
Table: BMI LEGAL FRAMEWORK RATING
26
Infrastructure
27
Table: LABOUR FORCE QUALITY
27
TABLE: AFRICA - ANNUAL FDI INFLOWS
28
Market Orientation
29
TABLE: TOP EXPORT DESTINATIONS-
29
Operational Risk
30
Chapter 3: Country Reports
31
Cameroon
31
Economic Activity
31
A Difficult Economic Transition
31
Economic growth in Cameroon will remain slightly above that in the country's Central African peers, but declining oil production and a
Economic growth in Cameroon will remain slightly above that in the country's Central African peers, but declining oil production and a
difficult business environment will prevent economic expansion from reaching the levels seen elsewhere in Africa
table : bmi countr y - GDP BY EXPENDITURE
31
Central African Republic
35
Domestic Politics
35
New President, Same Political Crisis
35
The appointment of a new transitional president in the Central African Republic is a positive sign, but it does not mark the end of a
The appointment of a new transitional president in the Central African Republic is a positive sign, but it does not mark the end of a
political and social crisis which has been described by UN officials as pre-genocidal
Equatorial Guinea
37
Economic Activiy
37
Medium-Term Forecast Grim
37
The construction of a new liquefied natural gas project will boost economic growth in 2016, but we expect that Equatorial Guinea's
The construction of a new liquefied natural gas project will boost economic growth in 2016, but we expect that Equatorial Guinea's
troubled economy will contract in 2014 and 2015
table: GDP BY EXPENDITURE
37
Gabon
40
Economic Activity
40
Data Revision Leads To Forecast Upgrade
40
Updated historical data indicate that Gabon's non-oil sector is expanding more rapidly than we had previously anticipated, and this has
Updated historical data indicate that Gabon's non-oil sector is expanding more rapidly than we had previously anticipated, and this has
led us to upwardly revise our 2014 real GDP growth forecast from 5
table: GDP BY EXPENDITURE
40
Mali
42
Economic Activity
42
Economic Recovery, Lasting Political Fragility
42
Mali's economy is recovering following the country's 2012-2013 political and security crisis, and we expect real GDP growth to reach
Mali's economy is recovering following the country's 2012-2013 political and security crisis, and we expect real GDP growth to reach
6
Senegal
44
Economic Activity
44
Fiscal Deficit Reduction To Slow
44
BMI forecasts that economic growth will pick up in Senegal over the next two years
table: FISCAL POLICY
44
Burkina Faso
46
Domestic Politics
46
New Political Party Poses Challenge To CDP
46
The apparent aim of long-serving President Blaise Compaor- to alter Article 37 of Burkina Faso's constitution - that which limits heads
The apparent aim of long-serving President Blaise Compaor- to alter Article 37 of Burkina Faso's constitution - that which limits heads
of state to serving two terms - has led to the formation of a new political party in the West African state
Chapter 4: BMI Global Assumptions
49
Global Outlook
49
Fairly Benign Prognosis
49
Table: Global Assumptions
49
Table: Developed States, Real GDP GrowtH, %
50
Table: BMI VERSUS BLOOMBERG CONSENSUS REAL GDP GROWTH FORECASTS, %
50
Table: Emerging Markets, Real GDP Growth, %
51

The Francophone West Africa Business Forecast Report helps businesses with market assessment, strategic planning and decision making to promote growth and profitability in Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Cote d'Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Republic of Congo, Senegal and Togo and is an essential tool for CEOs, Chairmen, Finance Directors/CFOs, Managing Directors, Marketing/Sales Directors with commercial interests in this emerging market..

An influential new analysis of Francophone West Africa's economic, political and financial prospects through end-2017, just published by award-winning forecasters, Business Monitor International (BMI).

Key Uses

  • Forecast the pace and stability of Francophone West Africa's economic and industry growth through end-2017.
  • Identify and evaluate adverse political and economic trends, to facilitate risk mitigation.
  • Assess the critical shortcomings of the business environment that pose hidden barriers and costs to corporate profitability.
  • Contextualise Francophone West Africa's country risks against regional peers using BMI's country comparative Risk Ratings system.
  • Evaluate external threats to doing business in Francophone West Africa, including currency volatility, the commodity price boom and protectionist policies.

The Francophone West Africa Business Forecast Report by Business Monitor International (BMI) includes two major sections: Economic Outlook and Political Outlook.

Economic Outlook:

How will the Francophone West African economic policy-making and performance impact on corporate profitability over 2013-2017?

BMI provides our fully independent 5-year forecasts for Francophone West Africa through end-2017 for more than 50 economic and key industry indicators. We evaluate growth, and also forecast the impact of economic management.

Economic Outlook Contents

The Francophone West Africa Business Forecast Report features BMI's forecasts with supporting analysis for 2013 through to end-2017, set against government views and BMI's evaluation of global and regional prospects.

Key Areas Covered:

Data:

  • Full 10-year forecasts with data - for key macroeconomic variables including GDP (real growth and per capita), population, inflation, current account balance and the exchange rate.
  • BMI's comprehensive Risk Ratings system - rates each country worldwide for economic and political risk, and rates the business environment, within a global and regional context.

Written Analysis:

  • Economic Activity - real GDP growth, employment, inflation, consumption (retail sales and confidence).
  • Balance of Payments - trade and investment, current and capital account.
  • Monetary Policy - interest rate trends (bank lending and deposit rates) and inflation (producer price and consumer price).
  • Exchange Rate Policy - currency controls, foreign investment flows, exchange rates and foreign exchange reserves.
  • Fiscal Policy - macroeconomic strategy and policies, government finance and tax reforms.
  • Foreign Direct Investment - approvals, inflows and climate.
  • External Debt - debt profile (short and long-term plus public and private sector exposure).
  • Global Assumptions - forecasts for each year to end-2017 covering: major commodities, growth in key regions, inflation, and interest and exchange rates, in the United States, Japan, China and the eurozone.

Key Benefits

  • Rely upon BMI's 100% independent forecast scenarios for Francophone West Africa and underlying assumptions - we take no advertising and are privately-owned.
  • Exploit the benefits of BMI's comprehensive and reliable macroeconomic database on Francophone West Africa, sourced and fully maintained by BMI from an extensive network of private sector, government and multilateral contacts.
  • Gain key insights into the current and future direction of government economic policy, which could significantly affect your company's business prospects, from BMI's team of analysts and economists.

Political Outlook:

What are the political risks to doing business in Francophone West Africa over the next 5-years?

BMI's Francophone West Africa country Risk Ratings evaluate the short- and medium-term threats to political stability.

Political Outlook Contents

  • SWOT Analysis for the Francophone West African Market - Political Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats facing Francophone West Africa.
  • Political Stability and Risk Assessment - BMI's Risk Ratings assess explicit short- and long-term risks to political stability; latest ratings, rankings and trends for Francophone West Africa's risk are compared with regional and global averages.
  • Current Administration and Policy-making BMI assesses the threats to the continuity of economic policy, and likely changes to the business operating environment.

Key Benefits

  • Benchmark Francophone West Africa's risk profile against its neighbours, the global and regional average, allowing easy comparison of risks between key business markets.
  • Identify, evaluate and anticipate political and security risks to the business environment, and to your company's current operations and future plans.
  • Gain valuable insights into government and policy-making, through BMI's specialist team of analysts and economists, and their network of private and public sector sources.

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Testimonials

The sections that I find most interesting and useful are the macroeconomic data and forecasts for the country, top export destinations and economic activity. The indicators/analysis of these areas helps us orient our thinking, our assumptions and, consequently, our decisions in the commercial area.

Country Manager, DHL Express