The year 2019 has ended on a hopeful note for Africa which is once again on the list of the areas with cost-efficient investment. This is at least what we can remember from the traditional annual report of the most attractive countries to invest in « Where to invest in Africa » initiated by the South African financial group Rand Merchant Bank. They have just published their 9th edition in which the focus is on the most attractive African countries where to invest in, in 2020. Usually in every edition, we find the same countries with the most appealing economies on the top ten. We will go over the list of cost-efficient countries in 2020.
For the third consecutive year, Egypt can brag about being the most appealing economy in the 9th edition of that report. The country has the advantage of having an important demographic market and is still one of the most favorite places for investors. So according to the author of the report, “it’s the third year at the top of our ranking. For the past three years, Egypt has made significant strides in changing their business environment, improving external investment into the market and growing their own industries ». « They also took the difficult decision a few years ago to devalue their currency to be more reflective of what’s happening in the market. Even though these were tough decisions, in the long run it will help with structural changes in the economy. We are also expecting an approximate 5.3% growth rate for the next five years. This is well above the 4% average expected for the rest of Africa.”, they specified.
Morocco comes second after Egypt on the list of most cost-efficient countries for investment in 2020. The Sharif kingdom is currently developing and should record an average growth of 4% in the next coming years. “iIts reintegration into the African Union and accession to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have enhanced its investment appeal”, says the report.
South Africa falls down and trades places with Morocco. In the report the country settles for the third place with a “cyclical downturn”, “poor growth” and “a deteriorated business environment”. However, the country remains an economy with a liquid financial market compared to the other countries in the continent.
“It is definitely still the most liquid market in Africa. We’ve spoken to many international clients and South Africa is still the springboard for investment into Africa. But we have to see structural reforms being implemented, specifically at our state-owned enterprises. These changes can easily put us back into the number one spot over the next few years.” said Celeste Fauconnier.
Kenya joins the exclusive list of high cost-efficient countries in 2020. We expect a 5 percent middle term growth rate this year. The country has “favourable weather conditions”in a more pacified political environment”. The economy benefits from diversity as well as a sustained expansion in consumer demand. It also benefits from urbanisation, East African Community (EAC) integration, structural reforms and investment in infrastructure, including an oil pipeline, railways, ports etc.”