Sub-Saharan Africa increasingly attractive for investors: study

FRANKFURT (AFP) - Sub-Saharan Africa is becoming increasingly attractive for foreign investors, even if a lack of infrastructure and other factors are holding back growth in the region, a Commerzbank study found on Thursday.

"Persistently low global economic growth has not affected Sub-Saharan Africa much so far," the German bank wrote in the study.

"The international financial crisis has barely touched the region. With real economic growth of 5.0 per cent in 2013 and an anticipated 6.0 per cent in 2014, the region ranks number two behind Asia" among the world's most dynamic regions, Commerzbank said.

The countries in the region, with their wealth of raw materials, are benefitting from high commodity prices and are becoming lucrative growth markets that are awaking international interest.

"Even if there are still deficits in individual countries in democratisation and the efficiency of political institutions, political and economic stability has increased," the study found.

Mr Rainer Schaefer, head of Commerzbank's country risk analysis, said that improvement and expansion of infrastructure were key to raising the economic dynamism and boosting exports from the region.

To meet its fast-growing energy needs, Sub-Saharan Africa could become a key player in environmentally friendly and cost-efficient energy technology, suggested Mr Florian Witt, head of Commerzbank's Africa department.

"There are plenty of opportunities for foreign investors with corresponding know-how in the areas of solar and wind technology and even biogas, " Mr Witt said.