Morocco is now Africa's leading investment destination, according to a new index

The North African country has pipped Botswana to top spot

The North African country has been ranked first in the latest Africa Investment Index 2018 (AII) by Quantum Global’s independent research arm, Quantum Global Research Lab.

According to the Index, Morocco, scores highly based on a range of factors that include strategic geographic positioning, increased foreign direct investment, external debt levels, a favourable business environment among others.

"Morocco has been consistent in attracting an inward flow of foreign capital, specifically in banking, tourism and energy sectors and through the development of industry,” said Quantum Global Research Lab's MD,Prof. Mthuli Ncube.

He further noted according to recent data by the Moroccan Exchange Control, Morocco attracted nearly Sh200 billion ($2.57 b) of foreign direct investment (FDI) in 2017, up from 12 per cent compared to 2016.

“The country is being recognised as one of the best emerging markets for overseas investment. International investors are looking at wide range of sectors for investments including in areas such as energy, infrastructure, tourism, and ICT amongst others,” Ncube said.

The top five African investment destinations attracted an overall FDI of $12.8 bn in 2016. Cote d’Ivoire ranks 5th while being the fastest growing economy in Africa and scores relatively well in liquidity and risk factors such as real interest rate, exchange rate risk and current account ratio.

The improved risk profile, combined with strong liquidity, business environment, demographics and the social capital record has rendered Algeria a rise to the 3rd position in the second edition.

Botswana, previously ranked as Africa’s top investment destination in the first edition, ranks 4th scoring well in risk factors as well as the business environment.

Prof. Ncube further commented: “Continued FDI inflows will continue to drive the much-needed capital to develop Africa’s primary sectors to meet the demands of the continent’s rapidly growing middle-class, and into manufacturing sectors to create more jobs, enhance economic growth and support structural transformation.”

In terms of improvements in the ranking over the last 3 years, countries such as Swaziland, Angola, Rwanda, Chad, Comoros, Seychelles, South Sudan and Sierra Leone registered strong upward movements as shown in AII three-year rolling rankings.

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