UAE Emerges as Top GCC Investor in Africa

According to a recent report released by global legal firm White & Case, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is now the 4th largest source of FDI into Africa. From 2012 to 2022, capital inflows into Africa from UAE totaled nearly USD 60 billion.

This is part of a larger picture whereby investors around the world are developing a greater appetite for Africa. Take the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, their combined FDI into Africa exceeded USD 100 billion over the last decade. UAE is in the lead with USD 60B, followed by Saudi Arabia with USD 26B, Qatar USD 7B, Kuwait USD 5B and Bahrain USD 4B.

Due to cultural affinity and regional proximity, the GCC states tend to focus on Northern Africa which shares the common Arabic culture and Muslim religion. Thus, one of the flagship projects which received investment by UAE is the AgTech Park in Egypt.

Data compiled by the Ministry of Foreign Trade shows that UAE is also boosting trade with non-Arab countries such as Angola, Kenya, Nigeria, Ethiopia, South Africa and Tanzania. The trade volume with just these six sub-saharan countries reached USD 8 billion in 2020.

Another area of interest is in infrastructure development along the maritime route in the vicinity of the Horn of Africa. Abu Dhabi has invested to build and operate ports in Djibouti, Eritrea, Somalia and Sudan.