Foreign direct investment (FDI) flows to Africa fell overall by 5 percent in 2016, according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). The decline, however, was not uniform across the continent. Egypt and Nigeria, for example, experienced an increase in FDI flows.
Similarly, the International Monetary Fund reported mixed economic growth patterns in Sub-Saharan Africa. While resource-intensive countries saw a downward trend, non-resource-intensive countries such as ate d'Ivoire, Kenya, and Senegal experienced an upward momentum.
There has been a surge in investment from the Asia-Pacific region. As stated by Ernst & Young, in the first half of 2016, Asia-Pacific investors, particularly from China and Japan, were the largest contributors by both capital value and FDI jobs. Chinese-sourced FDI into Africa saw a dramatic increase over that six-month period compared to the first half of 2015. FDI projects from China were up a remarkable 209 percent, making the Asian powerhouse the third biggest investor in the continent (behind the United States and France).
Against the backdrop of Africa's mixed economic performance, the number of ICSID arbitrations filed in 2016 decreased from previous years. Newly-filed claims show less concentration in the oil, gas and mining, and electric power industries. The tourism industry saw two new cases while the construction, information and communication, oil, gas, and mining, and transportation industries each saw one case. An additional case was filed in the "other industry" category.
Countries on the continent have concluded at least 960 investment treaties (including bilateral investment treaties and other treaties containing investment-related provisions), of which 542 are currently in force.
Continental Africa comprises 54 countries, ranging from its largest economies, Nigeria and South Africa, to its smallest, Comoros and Sao Tome and Principe.
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