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The Gulf Co-operation Council’s expanding African footprint

1 min

The Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) member states—especially Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Qatar—are already major investors and traders engaged in African ventures and appear intent on expanding their footprint across the continent.

GCC companies and investors will specifically focus on Africa’s resource industries of oil and gas, mining and agriculture © Mena Today 

The Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) member states—especially Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Qatar—are already major investors and traders engaged in African ventures and appear intent on expanding their footprint across the continent.

GCC companies and investors will specifically focus on Africa’s resource industries of oil and gas, mining and agriculture, as well as transport infrastructure and logistics services, renewable energy and digital sectors.   

The GCC and African states have strong incentives to build closer commercial and political ties, which from an African perspective include the vast amounts of finance available in the GCC and the willingness of GCC companies and investors to place their bets on Africa.

The GCC is reported to have invested over US$100bn in Africa over the past decade, or about 30% of its total outward foreign direct investment (FDI).

GCC greenfield FDI announcements in Africa reached a record US$60bn in 2022 and a further US$53bn in 2023, according to fDi Intelligence, which far outstrip commitments from Asia, North America and western Europe—China-based companies announced US$35.5bn worth of greenfield FDI in Africa in 2023, western Europe-based companies announced US$38bn and US-based companies announced US$10bn.

GCC companies and institutions are targeting a larger footprint in Africa’s resource industries of oil and gas, mining and agriculture, while at the same time consolidating their strong position in transport infrastructure and logistics services, and expanding into renewable energy, digital infrastructure, manufacturing ventures and financial services.

Economist Intelligente Unit’s latest report examines the industries that GCC investors are watching closely in Africa.

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