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China surpasses U.S. in terms of volume of investment in Africa

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China has surpassed the U.S. in terms of volume of investment in Africa, a report by Financial Times shows.

While the U.S. remains Africa’s most prolific investor when measured by the number of greenfield projects, China took top spot in terms of the amount of investment, the first time since FDI Markets’ records began in 2003.

“China’s rise to the top spot…comes because its investors have excelled in the areas that took the lion’s share of overall investment into the region in 2016: notably construction and real estate,” Adrienne Klasa, editor of FT specialist publication This Is Africa said, recapping Africa’s investment trends in 2016.

Chinese investment was compounded by megaprojects including China Fortune Land’s planned $20bn investment eimed at helping build Egypt’s new administrative capital, a project that has many fits and starts since its inception.






According to the FT report, real estate was Africa’s top investment sector by capital in 2016, accounting for $36.5bn (or 40 percent) of unannounced greenfield FDI in the region. Construction was ranked the top business activity by capital investment, also accounting for 40 percent.

Combined, construction and manufacturing accounted for almost two-thirds of total capital investment.

TOP INVESTING COUNTRIES IN AFRICA BY CAPITAL EXPENDITURE, 2017

Country Share (%) Capex ($bn)
China 39 36.1
UAE 12 11
Morocco 5 4.8
Italy 4 4
Saudi Arabia 4 3.8
U.S. 4 3.4
Singapore 4 3.2
Japan 3 3.1
Malaysia 3 2.5
UK 3 2.3
Other 20 18.1

(Source: FDI Markets/ The Africa Investment Report 2017)


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