In the coming year, Sudan is likely to make the most significant improvement to its country risk outlook following several recent developments, while Egypt and Iran are also set to make important headway in 2021. However, previous investment favourites Ethiopia and Zambia, alongside Turkey, will see substantial deterioration in their country risk outlook this year. PANGEA-RISK assesses the key drivers of risk in Africa and the Middle East for the year ahead.
One potential bright spot for African economies this year has been the surge in the gold price which rose by 28 percent between January and August. However, tapping into these revenues is not as straight forward as it may seem. We unpack the opportunities and challenges in a number of key gold producing and exporting countries, from Ghana to South Africa.
The looming contest over South Africa’s political direction will kick off with a dispute over IMF financial support to plug a massive gap in government revenues. Opponents of IMF conditionalities favour tapping into state pension funds or stepping up central bank bond buying to make up the shortfall. With ‘battle’ lines drawn across the ruling alliance’s ideological divisions, the outcome of the contest will determine the country’s political leadership and economic policy outlook for years to come.