The Havas Horizons 2021 barometer revealed that the perception of investors on the African continent has changed significantly in many areas.With three days to go before the Africa-France Summit to be held on October 8, this is very good news for African economies. According to the 5th edition of the Havas Horizons 2021 barometer published this Tuesday, “84.9% of international investors say they are optimistic about growth in Africa.”
“International investors remain confident about the future of the continent and throughout our survey reaffirm their commitment to maintaining their support for growth in Africa over the long term. This renewed confidence, in a period of uncertainty, is first and foremost a recognition of the underlying economic dynamics that have been driving African markets for nearly two decades,” Havas International Consulting Associate Director, Antoine Hillion was quoted in the study as saying.
The top 3 most attractive countries this year are Rwanda (48%), Nigeria (24.3%) and Ethiopia (21.6%). Cote d’Ivoire and Kenya have dropped out of the top three compared to the 2015 and 2018 studies. Rwanda’s meteoric rise from 12th place in 2015 to 1st in this edition is noteworthy.
On the other hand, disparities persist between the major regions where investors wish to strengthen or maintain their investments. East Africa is thus considered as the region with the highest growth potential with 89.6%, followed by West Africa (79.2%) and North Africa (77.8%). Central Africa remains the least attractive region (58.3%).
Promising new sectors of activity
The most promising sectors for 2030 have changed significantly since 2015. The favourites are now infrastructure (62.6%), agriculture (60.6%) and ICT (49%), reflecting the continent’s development needs in the face of demographic, food and technological challenges.
The investors surveyed consider the main challenges facing the continent to improve its attractiveness to be: improving the quality of infrastructure (53.5%), access to education (50.7%) and combating political instability (49.3%).
For nearly 89.6% of respondents, poor governance, political instability and insecurity (57.5%) and low labour skills (54.4%) remain obstacles to investment.
The new main reason for investing in Africa by 2030 is the development of the African Continental Free Trade Area (46.5%), the document stressed. The emergence of a middle class (43.1%) and the desire to position oneself on future markets (33%) remain, as in 2015 and 2018, important elements in the decision-making of investors.