If recent trends are anything to go by, Africa is maintaining its status as one of the world's most favoured FDI locations. Indian, Chinese and, to a lesser extent, Japanese and South Korean groups have been showing sustained interest in southern Africa’s resource-rich countries. Of particular interest are coal, platinum and uranium reserves, according to recent reports from mergermarket, fDi Magazine's sister news wire service.
Angola is seeking a serious volume of investment across all industries and Mozambique’s coalfields are proving attractive to investors. The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is also working hard to attract investment for its mining sector, to explore new mining opportunities as well as to develop existing mines. And the business environment in the country for foreign investors is becoming increasingly friendly, government officials say. Gold mining behemoths AngloGold Ashanti and RandGold Resources have recently increased their investments in the DRC, while base metals groups such as Metorex are well established in the country.
In west Africa, Niger's uranium reserves are expected to attract investor attention while Guinea has seen interest in its iron ore assets from mining giants such as Rio Tinto, Chalco and Vale.
The energy sector in east Africa, which is largely regarded as underdeveloped, is also garnering attention from global investors, while Mozambique, Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya and Ethiopia are expected to undertake developments in their energy sectors in the coming year.
Ethiopia, Uganda, Mozambique and the Republic of Congo are also chasing public-private partnership investments for planned energy generation projects.
Large South African firms such as Tiger Brands, MTN and Altech have recently shown their confidence in Kenya by making acquisitions in the country. And it is widely expected that it will be South African firms that snap up the Nigerian banks that are currently for sale. To send a signal that Nigerian banks are “worth a serious look”, the International Finance Corporation – the private-sector arm of the World Bank – has injected $300m into two healthy banks, First Bank and Guaranty Trust Bank,
In short, Africa is reaffirming that it boasts one of the world’s largest untapped investment opportunities.
Lucia Dore is the Gulf correspondent at mergermarket, part of the Financial Times Group. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org