How would you describe 2023 in one word?
Many words come to the fore (challenging, authentic, doppelganger). The Oxford University Press word of the year is “rizz”, which is short for charisma.
Irrespective of the word choice, we can all agree that 2023 was a mixed bag. Whilst there were periods of volatility, uncertainty, and crisis, it was not all doom and gloom. Inflation tapered in many developed economies (emerging and frontier markets continue to fight the battle), a new monarchy was crowned in the UK and the world became more energy efficient.
“All progress is precarious, and the solution of one problem brings us face to face with another problem”- Martin Luther King Jr
While the above can be said to be true for Nigeria, two of the much awaited and needed policy reforms were implemented (fuel subsidy removal and exchange rate unification). However, these came with more problems- inflation spiked further, consumer welfare deteriorated, and the Nigerian business environment became more difficult.
Ghana probably had it “easier” following the disbursement of the first tranche ($600mn) of the IMF bailout package of $3bn. Its inflation has fallen to a 19-month low of 26.4% (November 2023), while the cedi has recovered some lost ground relative to last year. Nonetheless, the country is not yet out of the woods, as it continues to negotiate a debt restructuring plan with its bilateral and commercial creditors.
In summary, 2024 has its share of troubles, which will be dealt with in a couple of weeks. It’s Christmas! Unwind, relax, and enjoy the year-end festivities.