African heads of government agreed in 2012 to establish a free trade pact, known as the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) and officially launched in May of this year. Credit: Jean Bizimana/Reuters/Al Jazeera
For the third year in a row, foreign direct investment (FDI) is down all over the world, but not in Africa.
Global money is banking on African growth, reduced barriers to cross-border trade and affordable access to commodities.
From 2017 to 2018, global FDI fell from $1.5 trillion to $1.3 trillion, according to an analysis by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). The conference released its 2019 World Investment Report last week, showing that global FDI not only hit its lowest level since the global financial crisis, but has also been on the decline for three consecutive years.
One region defied this trend: Africa. In 2018, roughly $46bn worth of FDI flowed into Africa, an 11 percent increase compared to 2017. This is significant for the continent because when a company or an individual makes an FDI, they are said to be establishing a long-term business interest in a foreign country. The expectation is that they will not only invest money, but also time, and soft assets (i.e. technology, expertise and training).