The International Monetary Fund has projected 2.1% growth for Nigeria in 2018 following the lender’s estimate released in January.

In its Africa Pulse report released on Wednesday, the Washington-based Fund said South Africa, the world’s biggest source of platinum, would expand by 1.5 per cent, more than the 0.9 per cent prediction three months ago.

The two economies account for almost half of the SSA region’s Gross Domestic Product.

The IMF increased its forecast for expansion in sub-Saharan Africa to 3.4 per cent this year and 3.7 per cent the next “as the challenging outlook in commodity exporters gradually improves,” it said.

Ghana has lost its mantle as the African economy likely to grow the quickest this year to Ethiopia, which has held the position for most of the past decade, according to the IMF data.

West Africa’s second-biggest economy should expand 6.3 per cent this year, the IMF said in its World Economic Outlook released Tuesday, Bloomberg reported.

The figure is lower than the 8.9 per cent forecast in October, and is also less than the raised 7.4 per cent estimate for Ivory Coast and the prediction for Ethiopia, which was held at 8.5 per cent.

Commodities including oil, gold and cocoa are the mainstay of Ghana’s $43bn economy, which surged by 8.5 per cent last year as the Sankofa crude field started up in May.

Its growth booms and busts have been closely linked to oil since it became a producer in 2010.