Reuters reported record inflows of $660M into African regional equity funds in the past 12 months, with positive inflows in 51 of the 52 weeks based on a report from EPRF Global in Washington. Not large numbers on a global scale, but definite confirmation of the arrival of Africa into the mainstream of emerging markets equity investment.
Certainly this number is much smaller than aggregate aid flows of various types, but it also represents only public equity funds and does not capture the scope of overall international investment, particularly private equity. How this fits in to the overall development picture is a worthy subject of study. It surely creates opportunities for growth and reflects some underlying optimism in future governance and stability at least in some major markets.
One question of course is competition among developed countries for deals in a growing African market. Here is a fascinating story from Uganda’s “Independent” entitled “German, US, UK envoys fight over EC [Electoral Commission] tender”.