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Amid the economic turmoil that affected advanced economies in recent years, the sub-Saharan African region provided something of a silver lining in an otherwise broadly felt economic downturn. As growth is now modestly returning in advanced economies, sub-Saharan economies carry on registering impressive growth rates of close to 5 percent in 2013—with rising projections for the next two years—below only emerging and developing Asia.

However, important downside risks remain and much remains to be done to lay the foundations for sustainable long-term growth, requiring efforts across many areas:

Up one position, China ranks 28th (up 14 places from 2007) on the 2015 in the Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) 2014-2015 and continues to lead the BRICS economies by a wide margin—well ahead of Russia (53rd), South Africa (56th), Brazil (57th), and India (71st). Dropping for the sixth consecutive edition, India is down 11 on 2014 out of 144 economies and is the lowest ranked among the BRICS economies. India’s slide in the competitiveness rankings began in 2009, when its economy was still growing at 8.5 percent (it even grew by 10.3 percent in 2010). South Africa has also performed worse than the previous year’s ranking.