South Africa Tops FDI Flows In Africa Despite Labour Strife

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Written by Kevin Mwanza

South Africa got the largest amount of foreign direct investment flows to Africa in 2013, despite facing crippling mining workers strikes, as investors bet more on the continents robust economic growth, Reuters quoted a United Nation report.

The Africa’s largest economy got a fifth of the $56 billion of FDI that the continent recieved, which was about seven percent higher compared to the previous year flows.

Sub-Saharan Africa’s robust economic growth, which the IMF expects to increase to 6.1 percent in 2014, from 5.1 percent last year, has made it an attractive destination for investors, Reuters said..

Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean got more than half the global FDI inflows last year when the developing economies received $759 billion in investments the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development said in its latest Global Investment Trends Monitor.

South Africa’s performance however lagged the rest of the region, with the IMF forecasting growth of 2.8 percent in the continent’s biggest economy this year, from 1.8 percent in 2013.

Investors in the African nation have been unnerved by recurrent labour unrest, most recently a platinum mining strike that began on Thursday which has hit half of global output of the precious metal.

Despite these woes, FDI inflows to South Africa more than doubled to $10.3 billion in 2013, UNCTAD said, while other African countries like Nigeria and Ghana saw a decline in investment. These flows were mainly due to greenfield, or new investment, particularly in the consumer goods sector,  Masataka Fujita, head of UNCTAD’s investment trends and issues branch told Reuters.