2012-06-22 15:45:32 - Fast Market Research recommends "Francophone West Africa Business Forecast Report Q3 2012" from Business Monitor International, now available
Ivoirien Recovery Buoys The Region I n Côte d'Ivoire, we are expecting strong growth in 2012 as the country recovers from the post-electoral violence in early 2011. After a 5.4% contraction in 2011, we are forecasting GDP to grow by 7.7% in 2012. We think long-term growth will be boosted by a 'unification dividend' now that investment can flow into the North. Although we are cautiously optimistic for the country's rebuilding, it is important to note significant political risks. T he Gabonese government has launched a crackdown on illegal workers in the oil sector in response to threatened strike action from the sector's union. This demonstrates rising populist pressure as the December election approaches. The smooth holding of the poll
has also been thrown into doubt by the opposition's boycott of the electoral commission. I n Senegal, recent numbers from the government support our forecasts of 3.9% real GDP growth in 2011 and 4.9% in 2012. We are not confident that the 'Takkal' reform package will solve Senegal's energy problems and we maintain the view that weaknesses in the energy sector will remain a major brake on growth I n Equatorial Guinea, the hydrocarbons sector continues to dominate the economy. The government is acutely aware that it needs to diversify output as oil production declines, but attempts to do so will come up against one of the most difficult business environments in the world and a repressive political system. Guinea's interim parliament passed a new mining code and has renegotiated a number of old deals, significantly raising costs for foreign investors in Guinea. However, the scale of Guinea's mineral wealth will continue to attract investors. We see some positives in the new legislation and believe investors will benefit from the increased certainty that comes from a settlement that is viewed as fair by Guineans. However, any benefits may be overshadowed by a worsening political situation. C had's successful bond issue reflects renewed investor interest in the oil-producing state as its security situation improves. The US $232mn issue will aid this recovery, but significant risks remain for the desperately poor central African country.
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