Considered by many as a welcoming, guest-friendly, and growing region, West Africa has in recent years emerged as a successful economic hub for businesses and conglomerates from the developed world. This has in no small way contributed to the region emerging as the Nordic country’s largest trading partner.
According to the Swedish National Board of Trade (Kommerskollegium), the West African country of Nigeria has overcome South Africa and eventually added on the list of Sweden’s largest trading partner in Africa. The title was long held by South Africa, but recent statistics has it that Abuja has jumped ahead of Johannesburg.
Often refer to as the giant of Africa, Nigeria holds the largest population in the continent with a population of approximately 174 million, making it the seventh most populous country in the world. Since the West African country rebased its economy a couple of years ago, it eventually surpassed South Africa in Gross Domestic Product (GDP), making it a hotspot for corporate institutions in the developed world.
Despite recent political crises caused by the Islamic insurgence, Boko Haram, Nigeria is Africa’s biggest economy the United States’ largest trading partner in sub-Saharan Africa and the country it supplies a fifth of its oil.
However, unstable social conditions led by Boko Haram, especially in the country’s north, have paralyzed some parts of the West African country’s socio-economic promise. So far, according to the World Bank, the country has already reached lower middle income. The country’s stock exchange is considered the second largest in Africa.
Ironically, with all its abundant natural and human resources, Nigeria remains a highly underdeveloped country, mired by political corruption, crony capitalism, and a struggle to sustain a seemingly endless cascade of killings waged by the so-called Islamic insurgence.
Whilst many Nigerians are optimistic of the future their country, some political analysts have claimed that the future hangs in a balance of probability. Whichever way we look at it, the upcoming presidential election, highly contested, will play a key role in determining the future of the country.