2012 Olympionomics: Angola, Gabon and the Republic of the Congo dominate the games!


The lights are turned off in the city of London where the last Olympic Games took place. Large or small nations competed in all sports for the precious metals.

Let’s Change the subject while remaining in the Olympic atmosphere! In what will follow I wanted to rank the best economies of Africa South of the Sahara for the year 2012. The data are from the April forecast of the IMF.


10.6% Niger (Silver)     32.5%Sierra Leone (Gold) 6.5% Angola (Bronze)

Niger is the first surprise of the competition. The country won the Silver Medal with a growth rate of 10.6%! In 2011 the country experienced a fall of – 0.8% of GDP per head.  Angola (6.5%), with its powerful oil economy and mining takes the bronze medal ahead of Liberia (6.1) and Ghana (6.1%). The Gold medal goes to Sierra Leone who with 32.5% reaches the highest increase in GDP per head. I have doubts about this vertiginous jump. Between 2009 and 2011, growth of GDP per head did not exceed 4%!  Any case of was doping? The Olympic Committee will tell us!


35% Lesotho (Silver)   39% Rep Gabon (Gold) 32% Rep.Congo (Bronze)

National saving is an aggregate that is barely talked about in the economic news. We prefer to focus on public and private investment. National saving however is the foundation of any national investment policy.  Since national savings are low, many developing countries go into debt and target foreign direct investment. In our ranking interesting trends did emerge. All three countries on the medals podium are from central Africa and the East. In addition, they are all rich in resources including oil for Gabon and Republic of the Congo, diamond and mineral resources for Lesotho.  The status of resource-rich countries therefore allowed them to earn significant export revenues. Lesotho, small landlocked Kingdom receives the silver medal when the bronze goes to the Republic of Congo, Brazzaville. Gabon, with Gold stood on the highest step of the podium.


12.2% Angola (Silver)    15.3% Rep Congo (Gold) 6.6% Chad (Bronze)

The fiscal balance measures the sustainability of public finances of a State. A positive balance is the sign of a good position synonymous with excess savings. A country with a positive budget balance has a wider margin to finance economic development. It is no surprise that the oil-exporting countries dominate the competition. The Republic of the Congo, with a fiscal balance of +15.3% won his second gold medal when Angola gets silver for the same discipline. The republic of Chad receives the bronze.


The current balance of payment account is a measure of trade with the world. This index is the sum of the balance of trade (exports-imports) added net transfers. For the countries of Africa South of the Sahara, the balance of the current account is essential in view of the importance exports of raw materials.

9.7% Angola (Silver)      11.7% Gabon (Gold)     7.4% Nigeria (Bronze)

This category is dominated again by oil-exporting countries. In view of the “the oil blessing» Angola takes the second place with a surplus of 9.7% of GDP. The bronze, earns Nigeria with 7.4%, who managed to enter for the first time on the podium. Gabon (11.7%) wins gold and climbs the top step.


These reserves are measured in months of imports. The more the number of months is high it will say that the country has a large stock of reserves and can import without disturbing its external position. In this area the reign of countries rich in resources (minerals/petroleum) is blatant. Botswana through the export of its diamond dominates this sector with 14.6 months stock of foreign currency. It is followed by the Republic of the Congo with 12.7 months stock of foreign currency. In third position a surprise guest, Guinea Bissau with 8.5 months narrowly won the bronze medal in Angola (8.4 months).

12.2 Congo (Argent) 14.7 Botswana (Gold) 8.5 Guinea Bissau (Bronze)


CONGO REPO 1 1 1 3
ANGOLA 0 2 1 3
GABON 2 0 0 2

Sierra Leone and Niger despite high GDP per capita growth rates have disappeared from the rest of the competition. The disappointment of the Olympionomics came from the South African economy which garnered no medal.

Angola, winning three medals confirms its position of emerging economy south of the Sahara of the year 2012. Gabon played on quality with the largest number (2) of gold medal.  The Republic of the Congo gets all categories of medals. The biggest challenges would be to explain how this country (oil exporter, big foreign currency stock, and whose state is the richest of the sub-region) could  have a rate of growth estimated GDP per capita (0.2%) below the average of fragile countries (3.3%)  and be at the bottom of the list of the oil exporters group? There a problem somewhere!

Francis Konan

Advisor editorial Les Afriques,

For all comments follow my blog: frkonan.wordpress.com


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