Sub-Saharan Africa remains second-fastest growing emerging region

6th February 2013 By: Natasha Odendaal - Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor

Sub-Saharan Africa was expected to maintain its position as the second-fastest growing emerging market region after Asia, with regional growth to remain above 5%.

Fitch Ratings on Wednesday attributed this to infrastructure spending, the development of mineral resources and growing consumer spending on the back of strengthened policy regimes, efforts to improve the business environment and rapid credit growth.

Further, the ratings agency commented that Africa was expected to benefit from foreign direct investment.

However, Fitch said in a statement that several factors would influence sovereign ratings across the continent over the next few months.

The agency cited Kenya's March elections as being an important inflection point.

“ … [the] likelihood of a repeat of the scale of violence seen in 2007/8 is moderate, but incidents of ethnic violence are likely to increase in the run-up to the polls and immediately after,” it commented.

Further, Ghana's full-year financial figures for 2012 were due to be released over the next few weeks, revealing the extent of its election-year spending overshoot, particularly on wages, and the damage to public finances.

In Rwanda and Uganda, delays in receiving aid were expected to complicate the management of government finances over the coming months.