Geneva: Confirming its promise as the prospect of the future, Africa defied global economic trends for 2012 to record a 5 percent increase in foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows.
According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) report released here Wednesday, even as global FDI fell by 18 percent, investment flows to the African continent increased by 5 percent last year to reach USD 50 billion.
The World Investment Report 2013, subtitled Global Value Chains: Investment and Trade For Development notes that investment in extractive industries remains the most important driver of FDI to mineral resources-rich Africa.
Howvever, projects in manufacturing and services also recorded investment increases, reflecting the growing market in the continent.
The share of consumer-related industries in the value of greenfleld investment projects in Africa grew from 7 percent to 23 percent of the total, UNCTAD said.
In terms of FDI source countries, South Africa, China and India are, in that order, the largest emerging economy investors in Africa, after Malaysia.
North Africa saw the highest increase - 35 percent - of investment in 2012 among the continent's regions, after declines resulting from thr area's political turmoils in 2011.
The report says much of the north African FDI of USD 11.5 billion during last year was accounted for by a turnaround in Egypt, where inflows climbed from a net divestment of USD 500 million to a positive of USD 2.8 billion in 2012.
In this connection, Egypt's Minister of Investment Osama Saleh, during a visit to India at the end of 2012, had said in an interview that Egypt could be the gateway to Africa for Indian investors.