South Africa has once again beaten its neighbouring countries to assume the position of the top African Country of the Future 2009/10. Ranking top in the categories of economic potential, infrastructure and business friendliness has helped South Africa to maintain the leading position overall.

Our results show that South Africa is regarded as one of the easiest places to do business in Africa as well as having one of the lowest costs of dealing with construction permits. In recent years, South Africa has attracted an increasing number of FDI projects, with figures rising from 60 FDI projects in 2003 to 114 projects in 2008.


Egypt closely followed South Africa, ranking highly in various categories, including the top position in human resources. Egypt had one of the highest enrolments in tertiary programmes as well as the highest number of International Baccalaureate schools compared with other African countries.

In the competition, which involved data collection from 59 countries, Morocco ranked consistently highly across most categories and ranked third overall, with our judging panel placing the country third in terms of investment promotion. In the same category, the judges were impressed with both Mauritius and Rwanda’s responses and as a result the countries were ranked first and second, respectively.

Rwanda, Ghana and Malawi came out as the top destination countries for foreign investors in Africa in terms of cost effectiveness. These top three countries had cost advantages with regard to registering a property, office and industrial costs, as well as having low minimum wages.

The Seychelles climbed one position to rank top in the category of quality of life. Compared with other African regions, the Seychelles had the largest number of tourists to the area, attracting 1.85 foreign visitors per capita.


fDiCountries of the Future shortlists are created by in independent collection of data by fDiBenchmark across 59 African countries. This information was set under six categories: economic potential, human resources, cost effectiveness, quality of life, infrastructure and business friendliness. A seventh category was added to the scoring – FDI promotion strategy. In this category, 18 African countries submitted details about their promotion strategy and this was judged and scored by our independent judging panel.

Countries scored up to a maximum of 10 points under each individual criteria which were weighted by importance to give the overall scores.


In April 2008, the Financial Times Ltd acquired fDiMarkets and fDiBenchmark. fDiMarkets is an independent database which tracks global FDI on a real-time basis whereas fDiBenchmark is an independent database which benchmarks global locations on how appealing they are to foreign investors. This division compiled the majority of the data for the Countries of the Future competition, with the exception of the FDI promotion strategy which was submitted by individual countries and assessed by the judging panel. These changes have made the competition even more objective.

Click on the link below for a PDF version of the complete results:


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African Countries of the Future 2011/12