African Economic Growth Expected to Outpace Global Average

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Africa is now positioning itself as a major business opportunity for overseas investors, according to ICAEW’s latest Economic Insight report. Where aid was the traditional source of finance, the continent is now seeing a dramatic fivefold increase in Foreign Direct Investment

Region’s Economic Performance Focusing on Botswana, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Ghana and South Africa

Michael Armstrong, Regional Director, ICAEW Middle East, Africa and South Asia

Michael Armstrong, Regional Director, ICAEW Middle East, Africa and South Asia

LONDON, United Kingdom, 1 October 2015, -/African Media Agency (AMA)/- ICAEW (the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales) launched their Economic Insight: Africa Q3 2015 report last night. Commissioned by ICAEW and produced by the Centre for Economics and Business Research Ltd (Cebr), it provides a snapshot of the region’s economic performance focusing specifically on Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast, South Africa and Angola.

According to the report, and drawing on estimates prepared by the World Bank, the total level of external financial inflows into Africa has increased from $40.4bn in 2000 to $192bn in 2013. This is largely attributed to the inward FDI from China with investment mainly going into primary resource sectors and infrastructure.

Michael Armstrong, Regional Director, ICAEW Middle East, Africa and South Asia, said: “China has approached African economies in a very different way to Europe, focusing less on official aid and engaging more aggressively through foreign direct investment and trade. This has been a game changer for the development industry, forcing European countries to rethink their strategy of connecting with the continent.”

At turn of the century, private finance constituted 62% of African economies’ total inflows. Today, that number has risen to over 70%, signalling a shift in investors’ perceptions of the market. Thanks to resource wealth, West Africa and Southern Africa are leading the way, attracting the majority of FDI; though East Africa is catching up. This is partly thanks to efforts for closer integration in the East African Community (EAC), which has involved harmonising investment regulations across the region and reducing red tape.

Much of the non-resource focused growth can be attributed to African infrastructure projects and investment in consumer-oriented industries including: rail projects in Uganda, Nigeria and Zimbabwe; Ethiopia’s textile, real estate, automobile and rail industries; Eritrea and Tanzania’s shipping industries; and Kenya and Rwanda’s real estate industries.

According to Danae Kyriakopoulou, ICAEW economic adviser and the report’s author:

The report also shows:
“While economic development naturally varies across the continent, Africa’s regional outlook as a whole remains bright with a number of projects expected to bolster growth.”

§ Nigeria is expected to experience growth in the medium term helped by higher oil prices and the implementation of reforms
§ Annual GDP expansion of 8.5% is expected for Ghana by 2017
§ Ivory Coast should remain on a high growth path into 2016
§ Growth in Angola is expected at 4%
§ The pace of GDP expansion in South Africa is forecast to see a gradual pick-up over the next three years

The full Economic Insight: Africa report can be found here:

Distributed by African Media Agency (AMA) on behalf of Institue of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.

Media enquiries:
Jamie Douglass, ICAEW press office, +44 (0)20 7920 8718 or email

Lara Khouri, Head of International Marketing, +971 (0)4 408 0000 or email

Notes to editors:

1. ICAEW is a world leading professional membership organisation that promotes, develops and supports over 144,000 chartered accountants worldwide. We provide qualifications and professional development, share our knowledge, insight and technical expertise, and protect the quality and integrity of the accountancy and finance profession.

As leaders in accountancy, finance and business our members have the knowledge, skills and commitment to maintain the highest professional standards and integrity. Together we contribute to the success of individuals, organisations, communities and economies around the world.

Because of us, people can do business with confidence.

2. ICAEW is a founder member of Chartered Accountants Worldwide and the Global Accounting Alliance.

About CEBR
Centre for Economics and Business Research Ltd is an independent consultancy with a reputation for sound business advice based on thorough and insightful research. Cebr is ICAEW’s global economic partner and has since 1993 been at the forefront of business and public interest research. Cebr provides analysis, forecasts and strategic advice to major multinational companies, financial institutions, government departments and trade bodies.

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