The World Economic Outlook of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has projected that South Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP) will reach $401 billion by 2024 at current prices.
If this happens, Southern Africa’s GDP would surpass that of Nigeria which is $395 billion and Egypt’s GDP of $358 billion.
The IMF report further projected that South Africa will claim the top position for only one year before falling behind Nigeria once more and subsequently slipping to third place behind Egypt by 2026.
It also stated that South Africa’s economy will grow by 0.9 per cent this year and 1.8 per cent in 2024.
The IMF report also indicated that provided South Africa addresses its power supply issues, resolves logistical bottlenecks, and implements other necessary reforms, the country’s economy has the potential for potential for even faster growth, ranging from 2.5 per cent to 3 per cent.
On the other hand, economic growth in Nigeria is expected to slow to 2.9 per cent in 2023 from 3.3 per cent in the previous year and grow by 3.1 per cent in 2024.
The report attributed the lag to the effects of high inflation, which currently stands at 26.72 per cent.
Nigeria first overtook South Africa to become the continent’s largest economy in 2014 after rebasing its GDP, an exercise that saw its GDP almost double and rise to just over $500 billion, which shot up its ranking as the 26th biggest economy in the world then.