Johannesburg - Fitch Ratings says in a special report that ongoing economic liberalisation and public investment will continue to underpin sub-Saharan Africa's (SSA) economic prospects, after helping to mitigate the impact of the global recession during the last two years.
SSA saw economic growth slow in 2009 to 2.1% - its lowest since 1994 - but escaped recession. Current account and fiscal deficits, though widening, did not deteriorate severely.
Although this partly reflects weaker global integration of both financial and trade systems, it also speaks to the region's improved resilience following almost a decade of economic reforms. Oil exporters such as Nigeria and Angola faced more pressure than other countries, despite entering the crisis with substantial reserves, due to weak and delayed policy responses.
"Continued structural reforms and strong public investment, even during the downturn, puts the region in a good position to take advantage of trade and investment opportunities as the global recovery gains momentum," says Veronica Kalema, Director in Fitch's Sovereign team.