JOHANNESBURG— Economic experts from across the African continent say this may be an exciting year for African economies, which could be ready to move out of their traditional roles and into new sectors.
African nations have struggled for decades to go beyond their role as providers of basic raw materials, like oil, gas, minerals and agricultural products.
Their efforts have had mixed success. While nations like South Africa and Kenya have managed to diversify their economies, others, like Angola and Nigeria, are largely known to investors as energy sources.
But then oil prices fell. And fell. And continue to fall. And while that trend is clearly alarming to those energy producers, economists say this might represent an opportunity for resource-poor African nations, which have struggled to be heard in the resource-packed African market.
Experts gathered in this month in Johannesburg -- still the continent’s economic hub, home to Africa’s strongest banking sector, and the headquarters of many international mining giants -- to discuss this new trend.
Analyst Martyn Davies said change is afoot.