2017 fourth-quarter forecast

Sub-Saharan Africa

Sub-Saharan Africa is a study in diversity. Covering an area that spans the entire width of the continent beginning at the Sahara Desert and ending at the southernmost tip of South Africa, the region is home to countless cultures, languages, religions, plants, animals and natural resources. It’s no surprise that it captured the imagination of Europe’s earliest explorers — and that it continues to capture the imagination of current world powers eager to exploit it. And yet despite the region’s diversity, Sub-Saharan African countries have common challenges — transnational terrorism, rapid population growth, endemic poverty and corruption — that prevent them from capitalizing on their economic potential. The coming years will be critical for the region, especially as its political institutions mature in a rapidly globalizing world.

Sep 28, 2017 | 13:58 GMT
Covering an area that spans the entire width of the continent beginning at the Sahara Desert and ending at the southernmost tip of South Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa is home to countless cultures, languages, religions, plants, animals and natural resources.

Covering an area that spans the entire width of the continent beginning at the Sahara Desert and ending at the southernmost tip of South Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa is home to countless cultures, languages, religions, plants, animals and natural resources.

(Radek Borovka/Shutterstock.com)
section Highlights
  • As their terms draw to an end, South African President Jacob Zuma and his Nigerian counterpart, Muhammadu Buhari, will work to strengthen the hands of their chosen successors, fueling infighting within their ruling parties as their ability to enact much-needed reforms declines.
  • A historic decision by Kenya's Supreme Court to redo the country's recent presidential election will increase the risk of ethnic violence and constitutional crisis as the expectations of the incumbent and his challenger mount.
  • The differences in the leadership transitions of Angola and the neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo remain as stark as ever as the former's rigid succession plan steadily progresses and the latter's political process stalls, inviting new international sanctions.
  • Despite insufficient funding and an unclear organizational structure, the new G5 Sahel force will continue to receive political support and resources from France as Paris searches for a way to reduce its military presence in the perpetually unstable region.
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