Africa’s most populous city, Lagos, attracted 23 greenfield FDI projects in 2018, a significant increase from 13 projects in 2017 and bucking the downward trend witnessed since 2013, reports greenfield investment monitor fDi Markets. Capital expenditure into greenfield projects concurrently rose more than threefold, from $339m in 2017 to $1.47bn in 2018.

Lagos was the best performing city in west Africa in terms of greenfield projects in 2018, shortly followed by Abidjan (Côte d'Ivoire) and Accra (Ghana) which respectively attracted 20 and nine projects, reports fDi Markets.


The number of projects has faltered somewhat in 2019, with just 12 greenfield projects announced in the first nine months, but Lagos remains the best performing west African city.

Across the African continent, however, Lagos ranks fourth in 2018, falling just shy of Casablanca (Morocco), which received 25 greenfield projects. The continent was led by Nairobi (Kenya) and Johannesburg (South Africa), with 37 and 35 greenfield projects respectively.

The top source countries for investment into Lagos during 2018 were the US and South Africa, with companies from each country collectively making four investments. US-based Frost & Sullivan, a growth consultancy company, established a new office in the city in September 2018 with the purpose of serving several industries and the public sector in the west Africa region.

Germany, the UK, France and Belgium followed the US and South Africa, with three investments made apiece. Germany-based BASF, the world's largest chemical producer, opened a new laboratory and headquarters facility in October 2018 to support its planned expansion in the sub-Saharan Africa region. 

The sectors that attracted the most investments were communications and financial services, with the two sectors garnering a combined eight investments. The most common business function for the foreign investments made was sales, marketing and support, with seven openings.