Industrial and high value investments in Africa, 2016-2018

The Industries & Strategies database tracks, since 2016, every industrial investment (manufacturing, energy, logistics, R&D) announced worldwide (over 30 MUSD or 50 jobs). Each information is classified by product, sector, company, country, even a qualitative score (factories of the future score). Since january 2016, 8 879 investments have been tracked, among them 569 in Africa (6,4%). As the database is updated weekly, our users benefit from a more detailed information, including cancelled investments, factories of the future score details, capacity… See other papers on industrial investment like this or download this paper.

In the database, each information is described precisely across 30 quantitative and qualitative fields. The tables below synthetize the available data alongside different criteria.

trendeo africa map industry

A map of industrial investments in Africa tracked by Trendeo from january 2016 to april 2018

Africa within the world

Among the main economic areas below, Africa ranks fourth by amount invested, ahead of the European Union, and fifth by number of projects invested and jobs created. The average amount invested by project is 63% higher in Africa than the global average, in relation to the high share of mining projects.

Top areas by number of projects received, jobs and by investment received in M$, 2016-2018
Map from our 2017 World Industrial investment monitor

Geographical repartition within Africa

Four countries, Egypt, South Africa, Morocco and Nigeria represent 33% of jobs created, 39% of projects and 56% of the amount invested. Egypt and Nigeria benefit from huge energy and mining investments (to mention only projects over 10 billion dollars, we have a nuclear plant and two gas extraction projects in Egypt, and three oil fields and a refinery in Nigeria).

Investments by country, announced in Africa, 2016-2018, tracked by Trendeo,
by number of projects, jobs created, and amounts invested.

Among the 30 top regions (out of 219 regions in which investments have been tracked), there are 5 Egyptian and South-African regions, 3 Moroccans and Angolans, 2 from Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Zambia and Rwanda have also one. Ten of these regions are capital region of their respective countries.

Investments by region, announced within Africa, 2016-2018, tracked by Trendeo,
by number of projects, jobs created and amounts invested.

By city and by number of projects, Luanda comes first with twelve projects, followed by Cairo (with an amount invested much more important), Tangier, Casablanca, Ondjiva and Harare.

Top cities in Africa by number of projects received, jobs and investment amount received, 2016-2018

Investment by country of origin

Africa is the geographical area where the share of exogenous (exogenous meaning coming from outside of Africa. FDI share of investment would be higher still, since we have counted FDI from African countries into other African countries as endogenous) investments  is the highest – on the other side, Asia is the most autonomous area, with 93% of investments coming from Asia. By country of origin, foreign direct investment makes about half of projects, jobs created and amount invested. France is the first foreign investors by number of projects, and third by amount invested. China and India have equivalent shares, in terms of project, but the average Chinese project is five times higher, at 828 M$ against 163 M$. The United States are coming in fifth position by number of projects, but first in terms of amounts invested.

Country of origin of investments announced in Africa, 2016-2018, tracked by Trendeo,
by number of projects, jobs created and amounts invested.

Investment by company

In Africa, the presence of state owned investments is striking: 26% of the amounts invested come from state-owned companies, against a global level of 14%. We find at the first place the Government of Egypt, by number of projects and amount invested. Dangote, the Nigerian group, is first private investor, by number of projects, and fourth by amount invested. Among the biggest investors by amount invested we find a lot of energy companies (Italian ENI, French Total, Anadarko, Eskom Holdings…) The cement industry is also well represented with Lafarge-Holcim, Addoha, GICA, Pretoria Portland…)

Companies announcing investments in Africa, 2016-2018, tracked by Trendeo,
by number of projects, jobs created and amounts invested.

Sectors and activities

The database characterizes the main type of activity for each project. The data shows that mining and quarrrying represent more than 40% of the amount invested in Africa, a level 17% higher than global average. The other major difference between Africa and global average is that manufacturing is 20% lower in Africa than globally, with only 22,6% of amounts invested.

Investments announced in Africa, 2016-2018, tracked by Trendeo, by number of projects,  jobs created and amounts, by type of activity. Last column: average amount invested by project.

On a more detailed level, the oil & gas mining sector makes one third of amounts invested in Africa, 20% more than global average. Manufacturing activities implying assembling parts and a network of suppliers and customers are less represented in Africa: electronics specially, almost absent, then chemicals, or automotive, are under-represented.

Investments by sector in Africa, 2016-2018, in number of projects, jobs and amount invested.
Last column: average amount invested by project.

Top projects

The following table lists the ten biggest investments announced since january 2016 (we recorded in our database some projects that had been announced before but were discussed again since January 2016). All ten projects are energy related, and together they make 44% of the total amount invested (in the European Union, top ten projects were only 26%).

Qualitative scores

Our factories of the future score aggregates six components defined with our partners (Fives, EDF (Electricité de France) and the Institut de la réindustrialisation.):

  • Flexibility: the ability to switch from a product to another, enabling made-to-order manufacturing,
  • Digitalization: the introduction of technologies such as IoT, robotics, automation,
  • Energy efficiency: every measure taken to lower energy consumption compared with usual norms,
  • Social efforts: measures undertaken for operations, through working conditions, health and safety concern, training, education and wages…,
  • Territorial efforts: decisions aiming at improving the relations between a production site and local communities and stakeholders, such as favoring local suppliers, funding schools, contributing to local social projects…,
  • Environmental efforts: reducing carbon footprint and pollution, water preservation…

Each criterion is ranked 0 (no mention in the news describing the investment), 1 (some measures described) or 2 (quantitative objectives defined for the criterion considered or insistence on it). Adding those 0-2 scores over six criteria gives a total Industry of the Future score which varies from 0 to 12.

There are, listed in the following table, the 13 projects with a score of 8 or more. The average score in Africa is 0,97, lower than the average global score (1,03) but higher than the Chinese score (0,94). There is no apparent link between the factory of the future score and the size of the projects. The best score has been given to a very small project in the food industry, by French company Olvea, in Burkina Faso.

Detailed Sample

Each operation is described on a dedicated page in the database, including information such as production capacity.


Detail of the food sector, by product and type of product

The next table shows the detail by product and type of products for the food sector, third sector in Africa in our data. Sugar, with only five projects, is first sector by amount invested, and one third of overall investment in Africa in the food sector.

Repartition of the investment by product and type of product within the food sector, 2016-2018


This document is a short synthesis of the data available in the Industries & Strategies database about investments in Africa. You can learn much more about this database by contacting: Trendeo / contact @ / +33(0)1 42 79 51 26


The Industries & Strategies database has been made possible by our sponsors: Fives, the Institut de la Réindustrialisation, EDF and Defi&Co (Programme d’investissement d’avenir (PIA), managed by Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations).

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