East and west Africa exhibit a regional divide when it comes to foreign direct investment, according to data from greenfield investment monitor fDiMarkets. While the number of projects into east Africa has been generally higher than west Africa, capital expenditure in west Africa has been consistently higher. Data were obtained from 2003 onwards using the UN's definitions of east and west Africa. 

In 2008 the amount of FDI into both regions increased dramatically, particularly into east Africa. In that year, 99 investment projects were recorded into west Africa, an increase of 160% from the previous year. In contrast with this, 173 projects were recorded for east Africa, a 170% increase from 2007. Since then FDI into west Africa has increased steadily year-on-year despite global economic struggles. FDI into east Africa decreased by almost 14% in 2009, but recovered in 2010.


Comparing FDI for the first half of 2011 shows an increase for both regions, with FDI into east Africa increasing by 6.85% in the first half of 2011, compared with the same period in 2010. The increase in west Africa was even more pronounced, with FDI for the first half of 2011 increasing by 28.57%, compared with that recorded in 2010.

Since 2003, with the exceptions of 2007 and 2011 to date, west Africa has received more in terms of capital expenditure than the east. The number of jobs created in both regions since 2003 is markedly similar – a total of 233,955 in west Africa and 230,550 in the east.