Three reasons to take a new look at investing in Africa

A photo like this captures it all. Check out the photo project Middle Class in Africa.

Have you had a chance to look through the McKinsey Global Institute report, ‘Lions on the Move, the progress and potential of African Economies?’ This is a remarkable work that gives some impressive foundation to the African growth story we are happy to read about every day in our newspapers. Today we highlight three reasons we should take a new look at Africa! See a copy of the report.

Africa’s economic growth accelerated after 2000, making it the world’s third-fastest growing region.

Looking at compound annual real GDP growth between 2000 and 2008, Africa is third after Emerging Asia and the Middle East. At 4.9 the African region outperformed Central and Eastern Europe by a slim margin but well surpasses Latin America. Given the current financial climate in North America and Europe, those looking for growth numbers will continue to look to emerging African economies.

African capital inflows have grown by over 400 percent since 2000.

Between 2000 and 2008 there is a clear rise in Foreign Direct Investment. More promisingly we see growth in Equity, showing increased confidence in African markets and a healthier long term view on the continent’s future prospects. Investing in African companies for the future is a trend we like to see!

Africa’s infrastructure is half to a fifth that of the BRICs, with wide variations across countries.

Infrastructure in Africa remains a key challenge, but also introduces a major opportunity as demonstrated most recently by the Dangote group. Specifically their ambition to develop 50 million metric tons of cement production and terminal capacity in Africa by 2015. South Africa, Egypt, Algeria, Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria lead the charge. But Dangote recently signing a $350million investment agreement with the Central African Republic of Congo and another $400 million with the Ethiopian government certainly indicates other countries are eager to follow.

The engine is running. The possibilities are endless and really drive an increasing confidence in the continent’s bright future. See ‘A rising middle class, urban Africa drives gains in productivity and consumption’ for three more :)