Morocco: A consistent performer
From 2013 until 2016, Morocco has been quite consistent, ranking among the top three destinations according to Quantum Global Research Lab’s Africa Investment Index (AII).
Morocco placed second in the 2016 index, released in April this year, due to superior showing on current account ratio, ease of doing business, and import cover. The country also ranks fairly high on real gross domestic product (GDP), and Facebook penetration rate. Its worst showing comes is in external debt as a percentage of gross national income (GNI), where it ranks 30th.
In 2015, Morocco had stood third overall in the rankings, and was the top investment destination in 2014.
The data in the graph below is the latest available.
Due to its consistent performance, Morocco emerges as the top ranked country in the AII in the three-year rolling rankings.
The political environment is the biggest challenge for the nation, apart from low per-capital GDP, which S&P Global Ratings holds is “one of the lowest in the category of countries rated BBB-/A-3.”
The country was without a government for over six months until recently when the parliament gave its vote of confidence to Prime Minister Saad Eddine El Othmani’s Islamist Justice and Development Party. This lacuna in administration has led to delays in public spending programs. However, overall, the country’s ranking remains strong across metrics, making it a viable investment option.
Egypt: Opportunity in the land of the Pyramids
Egypt has been in the top ten in the Africa Investment Index (AII) in all years from 2013 to 2016. However, its third place as per the 2016 index was its best showing in these four years.
The country has scored well on factors including size of GDP, real interest rate, total population, and external debt as a percentage of GNI. It ranks among top ten nations on Facebook penetration rate, credit rating, and current account ratio. Its worst ranking is on the factor of exchange rate risk, where it ranks 48th among 54 countries.
In both 2014 and 2015, Egypt stood at eighth overall in the rankings.
The country has been on a reform path after it qualified for a $12 billion loan program from the International Monetary Fund in November 2016. However, its action to improve its finances may have been detrimental to the people who had marched against rationing of bread in March. The government is under pressure to do more in order to qualify for future tranches of the aforementioned loan.
There have been some positive effects of the reform process though, as Egypt has got back on investors radars.
Until now, we have looked at the top 10 investment destinations of Africa and focused on the top three. In the next article, let’s look at the bottom 10 countries as per the AII.