Tourism slows but private investment up

The latest Africa’s Pulse reports that the weakening global economy in the second half of 2011 affected tourist arrivals. For the year, tourist arrivals in Sub-Saharan Africa were up by 6.2 percent, higher than the global average of 4.4 percent, but lower than the 9.6 percent recorded for the region in 2010, when it benefitted from hosting of the World Cup. Tourism arrivals from Europe saw a decline in major destination markets such as Mauritius.

In a significant development, the World Bank says that overall capital flows to Sub-Saharan Africa rose by $8 billion in 2011 to $48.2 billion. Foreign direct investment, which accounts for about 77 percent of all capital flows to the region, contributed to about 83 percent of the increase.

Recent foreign direct investment to the region has been spurred by increased global competition for natural resources, higher commodity prices, robust economic growth and a fast rising middle class. The region is increasingly being recognized as an investment destination, including from private equity investors