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11 July 2012 | Editorial

FDIs In Africa

The United Nations has predicted that Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) to Africa is likely to double by the close of 2014 despite the fact that 2011 saw weak flow of investments into the continent.

The growth in FDIs according to the international body is based on stronger economic growth, ongoing reforms and high commodity prices coupled with improved investor perceptions.

The report, published by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, said Africa's FDI prospects for 2012 were promising and forecast average flows of between $55 billion and $65 billion in 2012. It projected this would grow to $70-$85 billion in 2013 and $75-$100 billion in 2014.

'Inflows to Africa are expected to recover as a result of stronger economic growth, ongoing economic reforms and high commodity prices, as well as improving investor perceptions of the continent, mainly from other emerging markets,' the report said.

For the first time, FDI inflows from developing economies into Africa, outstripped those from developed economies, the report showed.

'In terms of green field (new) projects, which account for over 90 per cent of total FDI, the largest developing-economy investors in 2011 were India, South Africa, China, Korea and Mauritius,' said James Zhan, director of UNCTAD's investment and enterprise division.

For the Graphic Business, this is a good piece of news coming from the UN because it is evident that Africa is gradually catching the eyes of private investors from the developed world.

Gone were the days when investors were considered Asia and countries from the Far East to invest in their ideal funds as against Africa which was described as a high risk area for investments.

However, the Graphic Business will like to make it clear that these investors are looking for return on their investments and are not coming to do any form of charity work. As Africans, we must be serious to put in the right frame of investment policies and regulations such that at the end of the day, both the investor and the host country will be winners.

The current spike of unrest that has engulfed some African countries all bores down to unemployment. African countries must be able to put their house in order and to ensure that there is relative stability that will be attractive enough to bring in the needed foreign investments. African cannot continue to be a beggar continent.

The amount of natural resources that Africa has at its disposal is more than enough if these resources are well harnessed and put into profitable use for the betterment of its people.

What has put African below the ladder of development is nothing but greed and selfishness on the part of its leaders and not lack of investments. GB


By: FRANCIS TAWIAH , G quot-img-1