Stears, a leading source of economic and industry analytics, took the spotlight at the IATF 2023 conference held from November 9th to 15th, 2023, shedding light on crucial aspects of the current investment climate in Africa. This presentation was part of an expert insights session that spotlighted investment mobilisation in Africa’s rapidly expanding sectors.
Keynote speaker Abdul Abdulrahim, Co-founder and COO of Stears, emphasised the need to dissect the high-level growth trends in Africa to understand the driving forces behind them. In the realm of foreign direct investment (FDI), there has been a notable shift in recent years. Traditionally, dominant players like South Africa, Nigeria, and Ghana are witnessing a redistribution of investment interests, with countries like Rwanda, Senegal, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo garnering increased attention.
A significant trend highlighted during the conference is the changing landscape of technology investments. Abdulrahim noted, “While fintech has historically been a major attraction for investors, this year witnessed a decline in technology investments across the region, potentially falling below $3 billion. The focus is shifting towards essential sectors like energy and water, recognising the fundamental importance of addressing basic needs for sustained economic growth.”
“Energy investments in Africa are experiencing a shift towards renewables, reflecting a global trend towards sustainability. Climate resilience and protection have become crucial factors for investors, both from a development finance perspective and in terms of long-term sustainability for the continent,” he added.
Summarising the critical drivers for Africa’s economic outlook, the conference underscored the importance of continued investments, both public and private. Adequate monetary and economic policies addressing challenges like foreign exchange and inflation were emphasised. Investment policies aimed at attracting and safeguarding investor interests and the regional integration facilitated by the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) were identified as critical pieces of the puzzle.
In a lively follow-up fireside chat, Miguel Azevedo, Head of Investment Banking, Middle East and Africa, Citigroup, and Ismail Talbi, Senior Partner and MD Egypt, AfricInvest, shared perspectives on Africa’s current investment climate, challenges, and opportunities.
Stears continues to play a pivotal role in shaping conversations around Africa’s economic landscape, leveraging its expertise to provide nuanced insights and foster informed decision-making.