In Africa, the five most attractive nations for international investors are Ethiopia, Nigeria, Morocco, Ghana and Senegal. This was revealed in the latest study of consulting firm Havas Horizons and the Choiseul Institute covering 2016 to 2020 and entitled “Financing African Growth by 2020: Global Investors’ View.”

In the framework of the study, 55 global investors active in Africa including the Bank of America, BNP Paribas, Edmond de Rothschild, Proparco, Qatar national Bank, Rothschild & Cie, Standard Bank, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, Merril Lynch, Attijariwafa were surveyed.

75% of surveyed population is optimistic regarding Africa’s global economic outlook in 2016 while 91% are in the mid and long term by 2020.

Global lenders’ optimism in the continent despite slowdown of economies spurred by oil and commodities decline is explained by a better business climate, structuring of free-trade areas, development of inter-African commercial relations, demographic growth and emerging middles classes, the study stated.

Favored by 52% of surveyed investors, Ethiopia leads the previous top 5. Over the past 10 years the country has developed significantly with an average annual growth exceeding 8%, one of the highest growth rates over the continent. It also invests massively in infrastructures (energy, railways, roads, etc.) and intends to become a reference industrial hub.

Nigeria comes next with 44% of the surveyed. Despite the various crisis that the West African giant currently faces (namely Boko Haram, oil slump, Niger Delta Avengers), remains confident in its investors, especially in regards to the challenge of diversification of the economy ahead.

However, Nigeria just lost its place as the continent’s leading economy and now plans to be no more oil-dependent.

Grabbing 23% of the surveyed investors, Morocco is third in the ranking.

Enjoying evident tourism assets, proximity with Europe, infrastructures of quality, major investments in solar and wind energy, and an economy which is driven by a manufacturing industry focused on export and the multiplication of free-trade agreements the Cherifian kingdom is eyed by many investors.

Ghana is fourth with 21% of surveyed population. Accra in addition to its political stability launched major regional projects for roads and ports. It relies on its average class, agriculture, construction, and infrastructures and aims to become a commercial link between Cote d’Ivoire and Nigeria, West Africa’s largest top two economies, Havas’ study indicates.

Senegal comes last in the ranking with 19% of the surveyed population. Dakar benefits from the “positive impacts of the gradual transformation of its economy through the development of the finance, telecommunication and new technology sectors, as well as a diversified economy which is based on agriculture, agro-food and tourism,” the study highlights while also emphasizing the country’s political stability and the implementation of the Plan for an Emerging Senegal (PSE in French).

Alain Okpeitcha