Africa attracted 178 financial services FDI projects in last year, according to greenfield investment monitor fDi Markets

It represents an 182% increase from 2018, and is Africa’s highest total in the financial services sector since 2011 – when it attracted 188 related-investments.

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In 2019, countries across the African continent collectively attracted their largest share (17.3%) of global greenfield projects in the financial services sector since records began in 2003, according to fDi Markets.

While Africa ranked third behind western Europe and Asia-Pacific globally, it attracted more than double the investments announced in the Middle East and 73 more than North America.

More than 30 African countries saw growth in foreign direct investment (FDI) into financial services last year, with five other nations maintaining their levels from 2018. Egypt continued to be the most favoured destination for foreign investors in the sector. 

North Africa’s most populous country attracted a record 38 greenfield projects in financial services in 2019, up by 375% from 2018. Egypt’s capital Cairo accumulated a record 18 announced projects with an estimated collective investment of $171m. 

Kenya records highest total

Kenya followed Egypt with 22 financial services investments announced in 2019, experiencing 340% growth from a year earlier and again recording its highest ever total. Mozambique ranked third, recording 14 investments in the period, up by 250% from 2018. 

Uganda and Nigeria shortly followed with 13 projects a piece, up from 6 announced projects in 2018, whereas financial services FDI announced in South Africa has failed to recover significantly after its downward trend since 2011.

Estimated capital investment and jobs also experienced a significant rise in 2019, with capital investment increasing to $2.1bn, from $757m in 2018, and the number of jobs created rising to 6341 from 2317.

Companies from the UK, the UAE and France were the most active investors, making 25, 18 and 13 investments respectively. The most active single companies were Emirates NBD Egypt, the Egyptian subsidiary of UAE-based Emirates NBD which made 14 investments in Egypt, and Millennium BIM, the Portuguese-owned Mozambican bank which announced it was opening 12 new branches across Mozambique.