Unpacking Africa’s FDI Landscape

FDI to African countries hit a record $83 billion in 2021, according to UNCTAD’s World Investment Report 2022.

This was more than double the amount reported in 2020 at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, which heavily disrupted investment flows to the continent.

Despite this growth, investment flows to Africa account for only 5.2% of global FDI. Understanding the FDI landscape in Africa – by examining who invests, why they invest, what they invest in, and the challenges they experience – is imperative to stimulating attractiveness in the market and increasing investment flows to the continent.

The recently published results show that 44% of campaign respondents are actively investing in Africa, 34% of the respondents are looking to increase their investment and 48% of the investors are looking to start investing in Africa.

Interestingly, 78% of African strategic investor respondents are invested in the continent through cross-border flows. Institutional investors make up the largest part of global Africa flows, according to the findings, with investment vehicles like institutional mandates, mutual funds, proprietary mandates, and private trusts primarily driving foreign direct investment into the continent. In the last decade especially, Environmental,

Social and Governance (ESG) considerations have become a business imperative for foreign investees, resulting in increased investment uptake on the continent for ESG-focused mandates, particularly in the renewable energy sector. Source: Africa.Com

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