A recent report by Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) has revealed a drop in Africa’s investment attractiveness ratings in 2014, with 22 countries receiving lower scores than last year.
The fourth yearly ‘Where to Invest in Africa 2014/15 – A Guide to Corporate Investment’ report showed that some of the deterioration seemed temporarily owing to the political unrest in North Africa.
“However, the outcome emphasises that the continent still has a long way to go in terms of reforms if the recent economic boom is to be sustained,” it read.
South Africa, meanwhile, remained Africa’s foremost investment destination and had, in fact, extended its lead despite a gross domestic product revision that saw Nigeria step up as Africa’s largest economy.
According to the report, the top ten most attractive investment destinations in Africa, in order of attractiveness, were South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Ethiopia, Algeria, Rwanda and Tanzania.
Egypt slipped three places, while Libya dropped completely out of the top ten.
Algeria reentered the top ten after a three-year break, and Rwanda entered the fold for the first time.
Other notable improvements were seen in Niger, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho and Swaziland’s rankings, while the Republic of Congo, Mauritania, São Tomé and Príncipe, Egypt, and Libya fell several places lower.
Regionally, East Africa was by far the “darling” of Africa.
“Bursting with growth-laden economies, this region is forecast to grow at an average 6.3% between 2014 and 2019, but could surpass this if oil and gas activities come to fruition sooner than expected,” RMB noted.
As far as the global rankings were concerned, the US had regained the top spot from China, a position it surrendered after the financial crisis.
This represents an improvement in the US economic outlook and an expected slowdown in Chinese growth rates.
While Africa had become a new destination for investment, many countries on the continent remain unreformed and unattractive, with the bottom six countries in the report’s world rankings located on the continent.