East Africa the strongest performing region for FDI in Africa: EY report

East Africa has emerged as the strongest performing region on the continent for foreign direct investment (FDI), after recording an 82% increase in FDI projects in 2017.

EY Global’s 2018 Africa Attractiveness report found that the region accounted for 30% of the continent’s total new FDI projects with 197. In total, foreign investors committed to 718 FDI projects in Africa last year, representing a 6% rise on 2016.

The report said Africa’s success was a function of numerous factors including multi-speed growth, investment friendly economic policies and regional integration initiatives, particularly in the East.

The formation of the East African Community, comprised of Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda, has provided a strong basis for economic growth in the region.

East Africa’s leading economy Kenya reported a 68% increase in inward investment projects last year, despite political uncertainty in the second half of the year following a prolonged election cycle.

“Kenya’s fast-growing technology sector, nicknamed ‘Silicon Savannah,’ continued to draw foreign investor interest,” read the report.

“Technology media and telecommunications (TMT) FDI projects in Kenya increased by 44% compared with 2016, largely because of a conducive environment, including a pool of well-resourced IT developers and a high smartphone penetration rate.

“In addition, the Kenyan government has been active in making the country a viable and competitive technology hub, formulating policies to drive this initiative.”