The big question for sub-Saharan Africa in 2012 is whether the region can sustain its recent strong growth in the face of a stalling global economy.
For now, the odds seem to be in its favor. But the costs of a fall from the region’s tightrope performance of 2011 remain disconcertingly high. In 2011, against a threatening global backdrop, most economies in sub-Saharan Africa turned in a solid performance. Growth averaged more than 5 percent and export shares stayed high. Nevertheless, specific shocks hit hard, particularly the drought in the Horn of Africa and the spike in global food and fuel prices. In parts of eastern Africa, the re-emergence of inflation presented a new macroeconomic challenge. Sub-Saharan Africa had also proved reassuringly resilient to the global financial crisis in 2008–09.