Rabat – Despite the unprecedented shock of the COVID-19 crisis and its accompanying hurdles, Morocco still managed to remain in the top five of the best performing economies in Africa, according to the World Bank.
The World Bank Annual Report 2020, which “explores challenges facing the developing world,” provides insight into the highest performing countries in Africa. Outperforming most of the continent, Morocco’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ranked fifth in Africa.
For the past decade, Africa has been considered one of the fastest growing continents worldwide. The World Bank suggests that some African countries still have positive economic prospects despite lingering, pandemic-induced challenges.
The best performing economies in Africa in 2020 were: Nigeria, South Africa, Egypt, Algeria, Morocco, Ethiopia, Kenya, Angola, Ghana, and Tanzania.
Africa is made up of 54 countries, boasting a population of over 1.3 billion people, and producing $2.2 trillion (MAD 19.7 trillion) in nominal GDP.
Morocco’s nominal GDP for 2019 stood at $119 billion (MAD 1.07 trillion). Overall, 30% of Morocco’s GDP comes from the industrial sector, 15% from agriculture, and 55% from services.
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The strongest economies in Africa consist of five English-speaking countries, three Arabic-speaking countries, one Portuguese-speaking country and Ethiopia, where Amharic is the official language.
Compared to most of its neighboring countries, Morocco’s budget deficit in 2020 remains “under control,” said Jesko S. Hentschel, director of the Maghreb and Malta Department at the World Bank.
Although the COVID-19 pandemic and a collapse in oil prices affected all aspects of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) economies, it does not appear to have strongly impacted the standing of some of the region’s best performers.
Of note is that: each of the 10 countries has its own currency, there are no French-speaking countries represented on the list, and neither are there any countries that use the CFA Franc. Some commentators have interpreted this as the failure of the French-developmental model for Africa.