A new survey by multinational professional services firm Ernst &Young shows that technology, media and telecommunication sectors are attracting the highest amounts in Foreign Direct Investment in Africa.
The sectors accounted for 150 projects, retail and consumer products 131 projects and financial services with 112 projects.The number accounts for more than half of the total projects last year alone, as the continent's attractiveness as an investment destination improved by four per cent.The overall survey results show that Africa has moved from third last position in 2011 to become the second-most attractive investment destination in the world, behind North America, with 60 per cent of survey,respondents saying that there has been an improvement in Africa's investment attractiveness.
"For the first time, Africa is seen as the second most attractive investment destination in the world. It has strong fundamentals to encourage investment including steady democracy and macroeconomic growth; an improving business environment; rising consumer class; abundant natural resources and infrastructure development," said EY's Africa chief executive Ajen Sita.The report comes just days after Ministry of Industrialisation and Enterprise Development Cabinet Secretary Adan Mohamed said his ministry plans to double FDI to Kenya by improving the ease of doing business to attract investors.The EY report, titled 2014 Africa Attractiveness Survey revealed that intra-African investment is gaining momentum, with African investors nearly tripling their share of FDI projects over the last decade, from eight per cent in 2003 to 22.8 per cent in 2013, a growth that is fuelled by need for improved regional value chains and strengthening regional integration.
It also attributes the momentum to African investors' understanding of the market and of the potential opportunities and challenges.This is despite increasing investment into the continent, with United Kingdom leading the pack with 104 projects, and USA running 78 projects last year."External investors supply long-term capital, skills and technology, while intra-African investment creates a virtuous circle that encourages greater foreign investment," notes Michael Lalor, EY's Lead Partner Africa Business Center.
South Africa is the third largest investor in Africa with 63 investment projects into the rest of Africa, while Spanish and Japanese companies registered a sharp uptake with increases of 52 per cent and 77 per cent, respectively. Investment in agriculture was seen as a key growth sector, ranking only second to mining and metals.
Forbes Hails Changes in Africa's Business Environment,The vice president of Forbes media says the launch of the Forbes Afrique magazine is a sign of better business possibilities in Africa.Christopher Forbes said his organization is celebrating free enterprise and the entrepreneurial spirit following the official launch of the Forbes Afrique magazine.
“We are at a unique moment in time [and] there [are] a lot of exciting things happening in Africa. And also things aren't going so well in the rest of the world that we can't keep pointing fingers saying we know best,” Forbes said in Brazzaville.“The moment is right for a magazine like Forbes to be launched here, where we celebrate free enterprise and the entrepreneur spirit because we are seeing that emerge in francophone Africa and in fact throughout Africa,” he added.He said some African countries are becoming less volatile, which he said is a better environment for business development.“There is greater stability here, the rest of the world have realized that we didn't always get it right doing some of the other things that we've done. There are natural resources here, but there is also a change in mindset here,” said Forbes. Some analysts say Forbes Afrique could face stiff competition from other French language magazines with deeper roots in the francophone countries of Africa.Forbes magazine has an African English version published in South Africa. But, Forbes said it was appropriate that French-speaking African countries to have a magazine that addresses business aspects in francophone Africa.“French speaking Africa needs the capitalist tool as well,” Forbes said.
Officials of the magazine say Forbes Afrique's readership will include policy makers and business people and everyone whose ambition drives them to reach positions of responsibility in the business world.
But Forbes also warned potential investors to make sure they work with reputable businesses in Africa.
“Choose your partners carefully,” he said. “We are very lucky in our partner Mr. [Lucien] Ebata. I think that's a key thing. Get the best advice and get to know people on the ground.”
“It isn't [only] that these resources can be useful for the rest of the world, they've got to be useful for the people living here [in Africa] as well and being enjoyed by a much broader spectrum of the population.”
He said Forbes Afrique magazine is in Africa to stay.
“When my grandfather started the [Forbes] magazine in 1917, his very first editorial was that business isn't,about pilling up millions, it's about creating happiness,” said Forbes.“As long as this generation of entrepreneurs will increasingly … realize that it's not just about realizing their visions, but their visions enriching the lives of others; that is a very important part of real capitalism,” he said.Forbes said the business climate is getting better in African countries, which he said is encouraging to local and international partners looking to invest on the continent.Investors see Africa as most attractive destination: EIU poll
More than one in two institutional investors see Africa as the most attractive region to invest in the next decade, with one in three expecting to put at least 5 per cent of their portfolios into the continent by 2016, a survey showed on Tuesday.Some 158 institutions including pension funds, hedge funds and private banks polled by the Economists Intelligence Unit (EIU) said Nigeria and Kenya are likely to bring the best investment returns within Kenya over the next three years, followed by Zimbabwe, Egypt and Ghana.Currently, almost half of respondents have either no exposure or less than one percent allocation to Africa, where an emerging middle class and growing consumerism are seen offering the most attractive investment opportunities.
'Africa was exclusively seen as a commodity play but now there are real economic growth drivers,' said Mr Mohammed Al Hashemi, chief executive officer of Abu Dhabi government - owned Invest AD Asset Management, which commissioned the report.'Africa was a destination for grants and aid but going forward it will be the destination for trade and investment.'Private equity and infrastructure are expected to outpace commodities as the best asset classes for investment in Africa in the next three years.Forty-six per cent of the investors said energy and natural resources offer the best investment return over the next three years, followed by agriculture and agribusiness, construction and real estate and financial services.The most favored investment vehicle is multi-asset class funds, but respondents thought equity funds will give the most opportunity in the next three years.
Investors consider bribery and corruption as the main challenges of investing in Africa, as well as weak legal and governmental institutions. A third of respondents also cited political risk.