Greenfield foreign investment monitor fDi Markets has continued to record a marked gap between inward FDI in north Africa and the rest of the continent.

The monitor has now released data for the entirety of 2015, which shows a gap of 54.86% in project numbers, a 3.17% increase on 2014. Since fDi Market’s formation in 2003, the rest of Africa has led the way year on year. However, before 2011 and the Arab Spring revolutions the gap has been much smaller.

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Between 2003 and 2007 north Africa lagged just 245 projects behind in total and actually surpassed the rest of the continent in capital investment during 2006. This increased to 620 projects between 2008 and 2010, but was still a significantly smaller figure than in subsequent years. 

In 2011 north Africa recorded just 230 projects compared with 693 for the rest of the continent, a gap not seen previously. This gulf was maintained during 2012, narrowing just 5.83% and increased substantially in 2013 by 27.86%. North African inward FDI during 2013 reached multi-year lows, with a number not seen since 2004.

The region stabilised slightly in 2014, with a gap of 410 projects recorded. Although an improvement on 2013, this is still a far cry from pre-2011 levels and illustrates both investor preference for the rest of Africa and the continuing unattractiveness of the region. Despite projects numbers again increasing for north Africa during 2015, the existing gap widened by 13 projects. As the region continues to struggle with increased levels of risk, it is perhaps optimistic to expect a drastic change in outlook during 2016.