UNCTAD, in its 38th Global Investment Trends Monitor, said Egypt remained the top recipient of FDI in Africa, despite a significant decline in inflows (-39 per cent) to an estimated $5.5bn.

The report showed that Nigeria overtook South Africa to become the second largest recipient of FDI on the continent.

It said FDI flows to Africa declined by 18 per cent to an estimated $38bn from $46bn in 2019.

“Greenfield project announcements, an indication of future FDI trends, fell 63 per cent to $28bn, from $77bn in 2019. The pandemic’s negative impact on FDI was amplified by low prices of and low demand for commodities,” the UN agency said.

It said FDI inflows to Sub-Saharan Africa decreased by 11 per cent to an estimated $28bn.

“Inflows to Nigeria declined to $2.6bn from $3.3bn in 2019. Lower crude oil prices, coupled with the closure of oil development sites at the start of pandemic due to movement restrictions, weighed heavily on FDI to Nigeria,” UNCTAD said.

According to the report, Senegal was among the few economies with higher inflows in 2020, registering a 39 per cent increase to $1.5bn, supported by rising investments in energy.

It said inflows to Ethiopia declined by 17 per cent but were still substantial at $2.1bn as significant investments took place in the manufacturing, agriculture and hospitality sectors.

UNCTAD said FDI inflows were also steady in Mozambique, decreasing only by six per cent to $2bn as the implementation of the $20bn LNG project led by Total continued, although at slower than planned speed.