Africa watchlist for 2021
This year’s overriding macroeconomic theme will be one of uneven recovery. While somewhat synchronised, the rate and extent of recovery will vary considerably, both across and within regions. Our first webinar of the year identifies the key factors that will be driving these divergences across the African continent, also highlighting some potential wildcard developments that should be on every Africa analyst’s watchlist. We look at why Covid-19 will remain a concern throughout 2021, discuss whether the commencement of AfCFTA will have any significance, and show how the continent’s growth hotspot is moving west. We also unpack the likelihood of political upheaval in Nigeria – the continent’s largest economy and most populous nation – and identify a few contenders for Africa’s next major debt default.
Jacques Nel| Head: Africa Macro
Jacques is the Head of Africa Macro at NKC African Economics. He manages the company’s macroeconomic subscription services and has been the lead analyst for a number of African countries.
Is sterling in the midst of a sell-off or a full-blown crisis?
Policy announcements are coming thick and fast in the UK at the moment and have been greeted with the most significant sell-off in UK assets in decades. Is this a case of markets overreacting or have the UK public finances been put on an unsustainable footing? Will the Bank of England react to the fall in sterling or are markets setting themselves up to be disappointed? We will set out our views on all these topics and set out the conditions under which we think this volatility will subside.Find Out More
Pre-emptive debt restructuring: a viable scenario for fragile African sovereigns?
The expiry of Covid-19-related support coupled with a surge in the goods import bill has exacerbated pressure on external trade positions for various African sovereigns. We see headwinds intensifying from 2023 onwards in the form of a deepening drought in East Africa, populist-leaning policies aimed at appeasing voter frustrations, large redemptions of external public debt facilities, and moral hazard. The risk profile is fragmented but a common thread can be found across Africa: sovereigns face an uphill battle in meeting the projected external funding requirements. With the risks of disorderly default on the rise and informed by the Zambian blueprint, we investigate the case for pre-emptive debt restructuring for fiscally fragile nations including Egypt, Ghana, and Kenya.Find Out More