Africa’s island states rank highest as investment potential

AfricaScope’s Africa Investment Potential map viewer has ben launched with data from In on Africa (IOA) and the Mo Ibrahim Foundation (MIF). In On Africa produces the Africa Country Benchmark Report (ACBR) on a biennial basis, using several different indicators, of which the Mo Ibrahim Foundation’s Indicators on Governance are a contributor. The full list of indicators used to derive their categories can be viewed here, as well as the explanation of the categories.

A quick look at the overall top five countries, shows some interesting characteristics.

  1. Three of the top 5 are island states, classified as Small Island Developing States (SIDS) by the United Nations. These are countries that face a unique challenge in their development and are particularly vulnerable to economic and environmental shocks. The figures analysed are shown in the diagram below and are from 2019.
  2. All 5 are also in the top five for the categories of Overall Business Rank and Overall Economy Rank. In the Overall Politics ranking, all except Seychelles are ranked in the top 5, and from a Society Ranking perspective, the 3 island countries are again in the top 5, while South Africa is in the top 10 and Botswana is in the top 20. This highlights the importance of a strong economy and business environment as well as a stable political and strong societal environment.
  3. Four of the countries fall into the lowest category of population size. The most populated, South Africa has a population density of 48 people per sq km, where the 2nd most populated, Botswana, has the lowest density of 4 people per sq. km. The total population of the 3 island countries combined is less than 2 million, but the average density is 325 people per sq km.

A look at the Change in Overall Governance Scores from the previous year, provided by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, shows 3 have declined (Mauritius, SouthAfrica & CapeVerde), while 2 have improved. Botswana is the most improved of the 5, although Seychelles has a higher overall governance score. Mauritius and Cape Verde also scored higher than Botswana and South Africa, despite a decline in their score from the previous year. Cape Verde stands out as being the most challenged on the Food Security and Sustainable Environment Scores. South Africa was scored the lowest on the Gender Score by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation.

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