After a quadrupling of foreign investments in Africa and a sustained annual growth of more than 5% over the last decade, the phrase “Africa Rising” emerged as a signal of shifting perceptions about the continent and drew the world’s attention to the numerous business development opportunities in Africa.
Africa’s growth, however, remains more disparate than any other region in the world. Challenges differ from country to country and investors who have recently flocked to the region are finding themselves on a steep learning curve. The regional cooperation, infrastructure development, and political reforms needed to diversify these economies and even-out growth on the continent are taking longer than expected.
Despite consumer-driven gains, foreign direct investment has leant heavily towards resource rich nations. Bigger economies like South Africa remain far ahead of smaller economies and companies with a strong initial presence in South Africa have had mixed success in expanding their footprint into other markets across the continent.