MENA

The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) department provides in-depth macroeconomic analysis on 15 MENA countries, including Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Qatar, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, and the UAE. Most Research Notes on these countries are typically the result of country visits and contain a review of economic trends; an analysis of macroeconomic policies; assessment of political stability; and a detailed database and near-term economic forecast. In addition, we publish two regional (the GCC and MENA) reports. Through its annual Economic Forum and CEO meetings, the department also maintains close contact and exchanges ideas on an ongoing basis with the leading economists and CEOs of member firms in the MENA region. The country work in the MENA department is also integrated with the IIF’s two flagship reports: the Global Economic Monitor and Capital Flows to Emerging Markets.

Sub-Saharan Africa

The Sub-Saharan section of the Africa-Middle East department provides comprehensive, forward-looking analysis on the major economies in the region, including South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Tanzania, Cote d’Ivoire and Zambia. In-depth economic reports that are framed within the political and social context of each country cover topics such as the short- and medium-term outlook for growth, inflation and the balance of payments; the factors that drive capital flows and exchange rate movements; an assessment of monetary, fiscal and structural policies and how this affects financial stability; and analysis of key risks. Reports and analysis are grounded in comprehensive databases that provide forecasts for all the key macroeconomic variables over a 2-year time horizon. Most of the Research Notes are based on regular visits to the countries and are the result of discussions with government officials, private sector participants and think tanks.

In addition to individual Country Research Notes, the department produces an annual Regional Report that provides cross-country analysis and looks at topical themes and issues in the region. The department also provides regular input to some of the IIF’s flagship reports, such as the Global Economic Monitor and Capital Flows to Emerging Markets. The work of the department is showcased at the annual IIF Africa Financial Summit, which attracts senior bankers and high-level public officials from the region, including Central Bank Governors and Ministers of Finance, as well as executives from global firms with an interest in Africa.

Documents & Resources

Publication
July 22, 2015

During our recent visit to Accra, we sensed a country on the road to recovery after a turbulent couple of years. Although there are tough challenges ahead, not the least of which will be adhering to a stringent fiscal consolidation program backed by the IMF during an election year, prospects have improved significantly.

Publication
July 16, 2015

*Markets reprice for better outcomes
*Greece was saved?
*Debt restructuring—drawing the right lessons
*Dodging bullets—the global economic outlook at midyear
*ECB—beyond Greece, things holding up
*China—growth bottoming out, challenges remain
*Iran—dawn of a new economic era?

Publication
July 16, 2015

Une croissance rapide de la consommation domestique de produits pétroliers, combinée au bas prix du pétrole, pèse sur les exportations. L’Algérie doit également accélérer la mise en œuvre de réformes structurelles pour stimuler la productivité, et diversifier l’économie en dehors des hydrocarbures.

Publication
July 14, 2015

After two years of extended negotiations, Iran and the six world powers (the U.S., China, Russia, France, Germany, and the U.K.) have reached a deal over the nuclear program in exchange for lifting international sanctions. The sanctions are expected to be lifted following the confirmation by the International Atomic Energy Agency that Iran has taken the necessary steps to curb its nuclear advances. We believe that this could happen within the next few months.

Publication
July 14, 2015

During our recent visit to Lagos and Abuja, we found the country in a state of limbo. Although President Buhari was inaugurated last May, the country is still awaiting the appointment of new cabinet ministers and a clear sense of economic policy direction. Authorities are struggling to deal with the aftermath of a 40% drop in the price of oil that has sharply reduced export earnings and government revenue.

Publication
July 13, 2015
Rapid growth in consumption of petroleum products combined with lower oil prices is weighing on exports. Low oil prices will undermine economic performance over the coming years, and the current large foreign exchange reserves are projected to be depleted by 2025 unless reforms are implemented.
Publication
July 10, 2015

This is the first issue of our MENA Quarterly Monitor which provides IIF’s insights on countries in the region based on the evolution of the high frequency economic indicators, and developments in oil, equities, and sovereign Eurobonds.

Publication
July 7, 2015
Discussions during our recent visit to Morocco highlighted improving short-term macroeconomic performance. At the same time, we heard increasing worry about regional insecurity and continued concern that deeper reforms are needed to achieve sustained higher non-agricultural growth.
Publication
July 2, 2015

Discussions during our recent visit to Cairo underlined that a year after his election, President Sisi still faces an uphill struggle to shift the economy to a higher and sustainable growth path to reduce the high unemployment rate which hovers around 13%. Moreover, recent terrorist attacks have taken on an ominous character with the most recent, highly organized assault on police and military posts in the Sinai, leading to large losses among government forces.

Publication
July 2, 2015

Indications are that, contradictory signals from Tehran notwithstanding, an agreement (of some sort) will be reached on Iran’s nuclear program by July 7, the new deadline. Indications are also that it is probably after an agreement is reached that the difficulties really begin. First, with selling the agreement domestically by both sides, and secondly, ensuring that implementation goes smoothly without a hitch. Both tasks throw up daunting challenges.