We are delighted to be hosting our annual “Meet the Ambassadors” series. Join us as British Ambassadors and High Commissioners from the North Africa Region share some insights on their respective countries’ geopolitical and economic issues as well as a general overview on sectors of potential interest to UK companies.
Whilst doing business in many parts of the region can be challenging, there are some great opportunities worth exploring for UK companies in sectors including, but not limited to oil & gas, infrastructure, education, energy, healthcare, and more.
According to the Africa Development Bank (AfDB), North Africa’s economic outlook in 2021 saw growth retur to pre-pandemic levels, primarily due to the rebound in oil and general trade. Real GDP was largely negative in 2020, at -1.1. The AfDB report on North Africa attributed the downturn to three shocks experienced including: the Covid-19 pandemic, a collapse in oil prices, and a steep drop in tourism. The reductions in the region’s trading partners also impacted on growth and the overall macroeconomic variables of regional countries deteriorated.
The AfDB report also suggested that if the pandemic continues into 2022 and beyond, some countries may find themselves facing liquidity problems in servicing their debt repayments. Over the period 2021-23, North Africa’s financing needs are estimated to exceed $180 billion to adequately respond to the crisis and support the recovery. It appears a focus will be on robust and ambitious reforms to rekindle robust, sustainable, equitable growth while avoiding further deterioration of fiscal and debt.
There is an expectation that a slower recovery in Africa will lead to greater divergence with more advanced economies that are forecasted to return to their pre-crisis growth path by 2023. Africa’s recovery is expected to be slower and would need to recover and grow twice as fast in the next few years in order to align with the type of recovery expected in more advanced economies.