Côte d’Ivoire overtakes Nigeria as best bet for investors in Africa

Abidjan, Ivory Coast

Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire

The second Africa Prospects Indicators report, recently released by Nielsen Africa, shows that Côte d’Ivoire has taken over Nigeria’s leading position in terms of overall outlook for opportunities for existing and potential investors. The report ranks leading African countries based on their macro-economic, business, consumer and retail prospects.

Nigeria, which held the top position overall last year, has slipped to fourth place – a result of a slump in commodity prices, which have driven down the country’s macro-economic indicators. This has also impeded consumer prospects and overall investor confidence.

“Despite this, Nigerians continue to be some of the most optimistic consumers on the continent, with more positive sentiment for their job prospects and personal finances, even though immediate spending intentions and levels of spare cash are more strained,” notes the report.

Côte d’Ivoire, on the other hand, now holds the top position in terms of its retail outlook and has improved in the ranking in business sentiment. While it only comes in third in terms of its macro-economic rank, the report cites its solid economic growth, stable inflation climate, and recent peaceful elections as reasons why the country has a good investment environment.

“Its principal prospects for realising growth remain consumer-related elements such as identifying and fulfilling consumer needs, building category, brand and product awareness, as well as trust and recommendation,” states the report.

Below are a number of other findings recorded by Nielsen Africa.

East African markets climb rankings

Kenya and Tanzania have climbed the overall rankings to second and third position respectively. Both markets have also recorded improvements in their macro-economic outlook ranking, with Tanzania taking first place, and Kenya second.

“Business sentiment for Kenya remains a little more sceptical, as the ranking declines amidst slower sales off take impacting company performance.”

South Africa’s ranking improves

South Africa has received an overall ranking of seventh place, a slight improvement from its ninth position in the previous report. Its greatest prospect is seen among the consumer indicators, where the country took fourth place.

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“The South African economy accounts for the largest base of consumer spend in sub-Saharan Africa and has one of the most favourably-priced common item baskets. This provides more promising avenues for growth through product innovation and choice, thanks to a greater product/value equation,” continued the report.

“Retail execution, route to market and distribution are also far more easily achieved in a country with the highest concentration of modern trade on the continent.”

Angola takes dive in perceived growth opportunities

Business executives across the country were also asked to rank 26 sub-Saharan African markets based on their view of growth opportunities for the next 26 months. The ranking incorporates both sentiment for the country’s overall economic growth, and the outlook for their companies’ growth.

Ethiopia, Côte d’Ivoire, Mozambique and Kenya take up the top four positions, which remains unchanged from the previous year. Nigeria holds fifth position.

South Sudan, Mali and Burkina Faso were ranked as least favourable in terms of perceived growth opportunities, while Angola saw the biggest drop down the rankings – from fifth to 16th position.