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Firms from 3 West African States Appear in African Business’ Survey of Africa’s Top 250 Companies in 2023

Nigeria with 22, Côte d’Ivoire with 11 and just two from Ghana. The lack of Ghanaian presence is particularly striking because of the level of economic growth the country has enjoyed over many years and the injection of oil and gas revenues into an already diverse economy.  Yet inflation there reached 54.1% in December, forcing the Bank of Ghana to repeatedly lift its benchmark interest rate, most recently by 150 basis points to 29.5% in March. Ghana’s economic difficulties perhaps partly explain the country’s receding presence in our Top 250 in recent years. Nigerian firms account for 9.2% of the combined value of our Top 250, up from 8.53% last year, while the number of Nigerian companies in the table has increased by three. However, this is still not proportionate with the size of its population. A World Bank report published in 2022 confirmed the widely held view that the Nigerian economy has been stagnant over the past decade but still has huge untapped potential. It said that unlocking private investment is the only way to boost growth and create more employment but this is dependent on creating a stable macro-economy. It will be interesting to see whether new president Bola Tinubu can make progress where his predecessors failed.