However, in June the World Bank cut its growth outlook for sub-Saharan Africa to 4.2 percent for 2015. This was down from the 4.6 percent rate forecast at the beginning of the year and below the 4.4 percent annual growth rate averaged over the past two decades.
"Growth softened around the turn of the year owing to headwinds from the plunge in the price of oil," the World Bank, which provides loans to developing countries, said in a report on sub-Saharan Africa in June.
John Ashbourne, who covers sub-Saharan African markets for Capital Economics, told CNBC that economists were increasingly downbeat on the region from a domestic standpoint as well.
He said that some of the biggest risks in the region included Kenya's current account deficit and currency weakness, slow growth in South Africa and the hefty efforts needed by Nigeria's new president to get the economy back on track.
Plus, he warned that the region's rapidly growing population could face challenges from overstretched public sectors and natural resources, as well as difficulties in labor markets absorbing fast-rising workforces.
"It's a bit of a grim list, but I suppose that these things go in waves," Ashbourne told CNBC via email. "It's certainly an increasingly pessimistic time in the world of SSA (sub-Saharan Africa) economists."