Rising Africa Faces a Critical Test

After more than a decade of strong economic growth, expanding investment flows, and narratives of a continent on the rise, Sub-Saharan Africa is heading into a tough year, as some of the continent’s largest economies face significant setbacks and potentially volatile political transitions. With the collapse of global oil and mineral prices, China’s economic slowdown, and diminishing access to international financing, 2016 will offer an important reality check for many African governments and some hard lessons on the limits of growth without vision, diversification, and broad-based development. The coming downturn could prompt renewed impetus for critical reforms and smart public investments by some African leaders, but it could also drive greater political volatility in a number of countries whose stability is generally taken for granted in U.S. policy circles.