Foreign investors are becoming more aware of the investment opportunities available in West Africa and are seeing the region as the next growth hub for driving economic development in Africa.
In the West Africa region, Nigeria and Ghana are seen as the two most important economies and the countries that offer the most opportunities for investment and have a well-developed financial sector.
Our economic analysts at Standard Bank Group say these two countries are expected to show economic growth of about 6% annually for the next few years. The countries offer investors opportunities that can be expected from the two leading members of the Economic Community for West African States (ECOWAS). They also offer the advantages of sharing a common currency and operate with English as the main business language.
Add to this the growing influence of Ivory Coast and we have a consumer market of 300-million people and a region rich in natural resources yet to be fully exploited.
Together, Ivory Coast and Ghana are the world’s largest cocoa producers. With close to 70% of the Ivory Coast population earning their income from agriculture, the sector is ripe for investment.
At Standard Bank Group we’ve seen foreign direct investment in West Africa largely linked to mining and resources. But this is set to change with other sectors including oil and gas, infrastructure, telecommunications, fast moving consumer goods and agriculture offering new areas for foreign direct investment as the economies of Francophone Africa develops.
At Standard Bank Group we are anticipating massive growth within Ivory Coast (Côte d’Ivoire) and recently opened an office there. This will add to its already strong representation in Nigeria and Ghana. We aim to use the Ivory Coast office to service its 145 clients with operations in Francophone Africa in sectors ranging from mining, oil and gas, infrastructure, power and energy to fast moving consumer goods.