The Star (Nairobi)

1 September 2014

Kenya: Nairobi Among Top Investment Hubs in Africa

NAIROBI is among top 10 cities in Sub Saharan Africa that promises the best investment returns for businesses by year 2040, according to consultancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers.

In a report titled 'Africa: Growth is on the horizon but where should you look?' the research and consultancy firm said the population trends in the 10 cities in SSA will double adding that by 2030, these areas have the potential to triple their combined GDP, rising by around $140 billion .

The cities are Ibadan, Adis Ababa, Ouagadougou , Dakar , Kano , Nairobi , Abidjan , Khartoum , Luanda , and Dar es Salaam , respectively.

"Most large western corporations are already active in either Kinshasa, Johannesburg or Lagos, the top three largest cities in SSA. However, we think that the real opportunity lies in the next 10 largest cities," it said.

According to PwC, cities are the gateway to new markets and more people would mean bigger opportunities for businesses that want to expand their activities in SSA . "Cities enable closer interaction with customers in a relatively small geographic space which in turn helps contain distribution costs."

It noted that corporations are increasingly recognising the untapped potential of the SSA countries, saying, "This is mainly driven by Africa's unparalleled demographic edge compared to other parts of the world."

It said policymakers in SSA need to overcome infrastructural, political, legal and regulatory problems which make it difficult to deal with bigger and more complicated economies .

Low quality of infrastructure and growing pains stemming from the inability of policymakers to manage effectively a larger and more complex economic system as growth proceeds, could derail the pace at which the 'next 10' grow, it said.

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