Rand Merchant Bank has released its annual “Where to Invest in Africa” report where analysts identified the top 10 countries and sectors that they believe are key to unlocking the continent’s growth potential.

According to co-author Celeste Fauconnier and contributor Chris Mabanga, manufacturing is set to take center stage as the continent, with its advantage of an abundance of natural resources, is focusing on turning its raw materials into manufactured goods to boost exports and reduce reliance on imports. 

Here’s a list of the top 10 countries:


Why? According to the study, Egypt is the most attractive investment destination in Africa. The improvement in Egypt’s business environment, facilitated through government programs, combined with the progressive increase in investment from the private sector has enhanced economic growth and assisted in repositioning Egypt on the global investment map.

2. Morocco

Africa’s fifth-largest market has an expected growth rate of 4% over the next few years, according to the study. Its reintegration into the African Union and accession to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have enhanced its investment appeal.

3. South Africa

South Africa has slipped another place in this year’s rankings, stymied by depressed levels of growth and a lack of structural reform. Yet, it remains Africa’s hotspot for portfolio investment.

South Africa Cape Town City Center Strand Street St. George’s Mall pedestrian city skyline buildings. (Photo by: Jeffrey Greenberg/UIG via Getty Images)

4. Kenya

Kenya’s GDP is expected to grow by more than above 5%, helped by favorable weather and political reconciliation after 2017’s disputed elections, according to the study. Kenya has a diverse economy and consumer demand is expanding.

5. Rwanda

Rwanda is one of Africa’s five fastest-growing economies and ranked as the second-best business environment on the continent. The country has more than doubled the efficiency of its business environment in less than a decade.

6. Ghana

There’s a strong growth outlook concentrated around the oil and gas sector, non-oil growth is picking up. Political stability underpinned by strong democracy has helped Ghana succeed as an investment power and it remains one of the easier business environments in Africa.

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7. Côte d’Ivoire

Strong growth rates supported by the government’s pro-business reforms and a relatively stable political context is what makes the Ivory Coast a great place for investment.

8. Nigeria

Nigeria has jumped back into the Top 10 due to improved macroeconomics, supported by recovering oil prices and production. With the second-largest market in Africa, resources and favorable demographics are attracting a large flow of foreign direct investments.

9. Ethiopia

With almost 100 million people, the demand for goods and services rising significantly in Africa’s sixth-largest and fastest-growing.

Roadside in rural Ethiopia

10. Tunisia

Tunisia re-enters within the top ten supported by reasonable market size and favorable operating environment. The government’s encouragement of foreign investment, through its new simplified investment code, has made the country increasingly attractive to multinational manufacturers.