April 26, 2023

9 Reasons To Invest In Africa Today

 Africa is a continent rich in resources, culture, and diversity. Over the years, Africa has seen significant growth and development, making it an attractive destination for investors. Investing in Africa offers an opportunity for investors to tap into a market with enormous potential. Lets explore the top nine reasons why you might want to invest in Africa.


1. A Growing Consumer Market

Africa is home to more than 1.2 billion people, making it the second most populous continent in the world after Asia. The continent's population is expected to double by 2050, presenting a huge market opportunity for businesses looking to invest in the region. As the population grows, so does the demand for goods and services, creating a need for more businesses to cater to this growing market.


2. Natural Resources

Africa is blessed with an abundance of natural resources, including gold, diamonds, oil, and gas, among others. These resources provide significant opportunities for investors in the extractive industries. The continent's mineral wealth has made it an attractive destination for mining companies, with many countries offering favorable tax incentives and investment opportunities.


3. A Rapidly Growing Economy

Africa has experienced significant economic growth over the past few years, with the continent's GDP projected to reach $29 trillion by 2050. The continent's economic growth has been fueled by various factors, including increased foreign investment, a growing middle class, and a rise in entrepreneurship.


4. A Large and Growing Workforce

Africa has a large and growing workforce, with over 420 million people of working age. This provides significant opportunities for investors looking to tap into the continent's labor force. As the population grows and more people enter the workforce, there will be an increase in demand for employment opportunities, creating a need for businesses to invest in the region.


5. A Favorable Investment Climate

Many African countries have implemented policies aimed at creating a favorable investment climate. Governments have created business-friendly environments by reducing red tape, offering tax incentives, and improving infrastructure. Additionally, the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) provides a platform for businesses to access a wider market, making it easier for investors to do business in the region.


6. A Booming Technology Sector

Africa's technology sector has seen significant growth over the past few years, with the continent's start-up ecosystem expanding rapidly. According to a report by Disrupt Africa, the number of tech start-ups in Africa has grown by 18.3% over the past year. This presents significant opportunities for investors looking to tap into the continent's growing tech sector.


7. Infrastructure Development

Africa has seen significant investment in infrastructure development over the past few years, with many countries investing in the construction of roads, railways, and airports, among others. Improved infrastructure makes it easier for businesses to operate in the region, reducing the cost of doing business and improving the overall investment climate.


8. Diversified Economies

Africa's economy is diversified, with various sectors contributing to the continent's economic growth. The continent's economy is not reliant on a single sector, reducing the risk associated with investing in the region. This diversification creates opportunities for investors in various sectors, including agriculture, manufacturing, and services.


9. A Growing Tourism Industry

Africa's tourism industry has seen significant growth over the past few years, with many countries investing in the development of tourist destinations. The continent's wildlife, natural beauty, and cultural heritage make it an attractive destination for tourists.


How To Invest In Africa

There are more than 50 countries on the African continent, and several have been classified as either emerging markets or frontier markets. The emerging markets include Egypt and South Africa, while the frontier markets generally include:


     Burkina Faso

     Cote dIvoire













Both emerging and frontier markets can be tricky to invest in as there is generally less access to the stock markets in these countries. The easiest option for most investors is to look for the best emerging market funds or the best exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that include investments in these nations.


ETFs often are excellent investment opportunities to consider because they are easy to purchase and tend to have lower fees than mutual funds. You also can buy and sell shares throughout the trading day, and with mutual funds, you must wait until the trading day ends and sell or buy at the closing price for that day.


Additionally, investments in frontier markets and even emerging markets are considered to be riskier than those in developed markets, and ETFs are diversified among multiple holdings. This diversification can be a less risky option than buying shares of stock in a single entity.


When it comes to Africa, you can look for an Egypt ETFs or South Africa ETF or perhaps a general Africa ETF. There are also emerging market ETFs and frontier market ETFs that might include investments in African nations. You also could opt for a sector ETF, such as an ETF that focuses on making an investment in infrastructure, financial services or energy.


Before purchasing shares, you will want to research the fund performance, the fund managers and each of the top holdings in the fund. While ETFs are diversified, all investments carry some risk, and doing your research and continuing to monitor the fund is crucial.


To learn more about how to invest in Africa, check back at Money Watch Africa, as we update frequently with news and insights for the Africa investor. We also recommend learning more about investment opportunities in Africa by heading to websites such as Invest Africa (investAfrica.com) as they have interesting information about investments throughout the African continent. 

April 14, 2023

Investment Opportunities In Africa: Spotlight On Egypt

When it comes to investment opportunities in Africa, Egypt is a popular option to consider. This North African nation has remained strong and vibrant from ancient times to the present and offers investors a wide range of investment possibilities.

Why Invest In Egypt?

Egypt is one of two nations that are classified as emerging markets in Africa, the other being South Africa. In general, markets are classified as developed markets (United States, Japan, etc.), emerging markets, or as frontier markets (Kenya, Nigeria, etc).

Emerging markets tend to have stronger economies and more stable governments than frontier markets, which can translate to less risk for investors. While every investment carries some level of risk, investing in emerging markets can be a good option to consider, as you may enjoy a more robust return and less competition than with investments in developed markets.

In addition to its classification as an emerging market, Egypt has many other qualities that might make it attractive to investors, including:

1. Location, Location, Location

When it comes to global positioning, Egypt is well placed, located at the crossroads of Africa, Asia and Europe. This nation’s proximity to the Mediterranean Sea, Suez Canal, Red Sea and the Nile River is a huge benefit to the Egyptian economy.

2. Diverse Economy

Egypt offers the Africa investor many options. Egypt’s diverse economy includes agriculture, industry and services. This diversity reduces the risk of overreliance in any one sector, which helps to bolster Egypt’s economy.

3. Energy Resources

Egypt is rich in natural resources and has significant reserves of oil and gas. Egypt is an important player in the energy sector in the MENA (Middle East/North Africa) region, and there are many investment opportunities in this sector.

4. Large Workforce

Like many nations in Africa, Egypt has a large and relatively young workforce, with a median age of about 25 years. This makes Egypt an attractive destination for companies looking to expand their operations. A younger population also means there is increased demand for goods and services, unlike nations with older populations that tend to be more focused on entitlements and healthcare.

5. Infrastructure Development

Egypt has been investing heavily in infrastructure development in the last few years, and this includes major projects in transportation, energy and telecommunications. This investment helps meet consumer demands as well as helps to expand business opportunities throughout the country.

6. Strategic Partnerships

Egypt has developed partnerships with many other countries, including China, the United States and the United Arab Emirates, to name a few. These partnerships have helped to create a business environment that attracts foreign investment. This opens up many investment opportunities in Africa.

7. Economic Growth

Egypt has been experiencing strong economic growth, averaging around 5% in recent years. While inflation has had some serious impact on the Egyptian economy, the economy is still expected to grow by more than 4% in 2023.

How To Invest In Egypt

It can be tricky for foreign investors to find easy ways to invest in the Egyptian market. One of the easiest options to consider would be an exchange-traded fund (ETF) A general Africa ETF or an emerging markets ETF might include investments in Egyptian companies. There are also one or two ETFs that focus exclusively on Egypt, or you can look for a sector-based ETF, such as an energy ETF that might include investments in Africa.

While there are ways to invest in real estate or specific Egyptian stocks, an ETF is an easy option for all levels of investors. With ETFs, you can purchase shares using an online brokerage account rather than using an investment firm. Of course, we highly recommend that you do your due diligence and research an ETF carefully before deciding to purchase shares.

It is important to track the performance history of the fund as well as the expense ratio. The expense ratio is the fee charged to cover the costs of managing the ETF and lower fees mean lower costs for investors, and, because the fund doesn’t have to earn as much to cover costs, this might generate a more positive return, as well.

We also suggest that you look at the fund’s diversification and research the top holdings. Diversification is meant to lower risk, but if you feel as though the ETF is not diversified enough or have concerns about the holdings, it might be best to select a different investment option.

Naturally, you also will want to take a look at the current market conditions before making any investment. If you do purchase shares of an ETF, be sure to continue to monitor market conditions and review the ETF from time to time to see if the holdings and their weightings have changed. It’s also a good idea to research the team that is managing the ETF.  

As a side note, while Egypt’s economy continues to grow, some of the fastest-growing economies on the African continent include Morocco, South Africa, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, Rwanda, Benin and Cote d’Ivoire, just to name a few. While an investment in Egypt can be a good option to consider, don’t forget to look at other African investments for long-term portfolio growth.

Investing in Egypt can be an interesting option for many investors, but it is just one option for those who wish to invest in Africa. At Money Watch Africa, we post regularly about investment opportunities in Africa. Check back every month for the latest news about investing in Africa as well as frontier market and emerging market news.

March 22, 2023

MSCI Frontier Markets: How To Mitigate Potential Risks

Investing in MSCI frontier markets can be a lucrative option for investors seeking high-growth markets. However, investing in these markets does have some significant risks, including political and economic instability. Let’s explore these risks as well as how one might mitigate these risks when investing in a frontier market.

How Are MSCI Frontier Markets Classified?

MSCI, which stands for Morgan Stanley Capital International, is an investment firm and one of several organizations that create market classification lists. Others include S&P Global Ratings and the Financial Times Stock Exchange (FTSE). MSCI, and these other groups, include three main categories for countries – Developed, Emerging and Frontier.

In general, developed, emerging and frontier markets tend to be categorized as such due to several factors. These include the stability of the country’s economy and currency, the political stability of a county and the ease of access to investments and stock markets in the county.

Developed markets are considered the most stable and least risky, investment-wise. They offer greater access to their stock markets than emerging or frontier markets and tend to also have greater political and economic stability, which can minimize overall risk.

Of course, as we’ve seen in recent days with the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and First Republic Bank, there’s never any guarantee that an investment in a developed country is without risk. Mismanagement can occur in any market, independent of market conditions or economic or political instability.

At Money Watch Africa, we focus on investment opportunities in Africa, and this includes emerging and frontier markets as well as countries not yet classified by MSCI, S&P or FTSE. MSCI frontier markets include Kenya, Mauritius, Morocco, Nigeria, Tunisia and a portion of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU). The WAEMU countries classified by MSCI include Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire and Senegal.

There are also two MSCI emerging markets in Africa – Egypt and South Africa. MSCI also has given standalone status to Botswana and Zimbabwe. Standalone countries often are poised to move up to frontier status. In some cases, a country can be placed in standalone status due to specific turbulent events, which is the case with Ukraine, which was given standalone status after the country was invaded by Russia.

How To Minimize Your Risk

While there might be more risk involved with frontier market investing, there also can be substantial rewards. To minimize your risk, consider the following:

1. Diversify Your Investments

As the saying goes, never put all of your eggs in one basket. A solid portfolio is diversified with a variety of holdings, this might include everything from real estate investment trusts (REITs), mutual funds and ETFs, commodities, bonds and CDs.

With frontier markets and emerging markets, opting for mutual funds and ETFs can be an easy and diversified way to get started investing in Africa. Mutual funds and ETFs are diversified with multiple holdings, which can minimize the risk.

Additionally, it’s much easier to purchase shares in a South Africa ETF or perhaps a general Africa ETF or frontier markets ETF than it would be to purchase stock in a specific company in South Africa or another African nation or to purchase real estate. You can purchase (and sell) most ETFs from online brokerage firms in just a matter of minutes.

2. Do Your Research

Whether you plan your investments on your own or use a trusted financial planner or advisor, it’s crucial to research every investment carefully. Research the companies involved and the company management. If there are multiple companies or holdings, research all of them as well as fund managers and the historic performance of the fund.

3. Monitor Regional News

It’s important to monitor geopolitical events in the frontier markets where you are investing. Geopolitical events, such as civil unrest or elections, can make a significant impact on these markets and you may need to adjust your investment strategies accordingly.

Some investors prefer to stick with multinational companies when making investments in frontier markets or emerging markets. These companies often have greater resources and experience navigating the political and economic instability that can occur in these markets.

Of course, with multinational companies, the profits often benefit the companies more than the actual people that live in the region. If part of your investment strategy includes socially responsible investing, you will want to research the companies carefully to ensure that they are truly helping to boost the economy and help these markets evolve into independent and developed markets with a greater level of stability and prosperity.

Advantages Of MSCI Frontier Market Investments

While there is risk associated with frontier market investing, there are also some good reasons to consider investing in these regions. There is, for instance, a high potential for growth in these developing countries.

Frontier markets and emerging markets tend to have young populations and often an expanding middle class which fuels the need for technological growth and infrastructure improvements as well as an increase in demand for consumer goods.

These nations also often are overlooked by investors, which means that the assets may be undervalued. This provides investors with an opportunity to purchase these assets at low prices and, potentially, enjoy high returns as the market expands. Likewise, there tends to be less competition than in developed markets.

In general, MSCI frontier markets can be a good addition to your portfolio, potentially providing you with higher returns than you might see with investments in developed markets. While there is a risk, and you must do your due diligence and research each option carefully, frontier markets and emerging markets in Africa can be good options to consider for portfolio diversification. 

February 10, 2023

Diversifying Portfolios With Africa ETFs: Benefits & Risks

Africa ETF

As a global investor, it's crucial to consider diversifying your portfolio. One way to do this is by investing in an Africa ETF. Africa is home to some of the fastest-growing economies in the world and offers a wide range of investment opportunities. In this article, we will explore the risks and benefits of diversifying your portfolio with an Africa ETF.

Benefits of Investing in an Africa ETF

Exposure to Fast-Growing Economies

Africa is home to several of the fastest-growing economies in the world, with countries such as Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya and others experiencing high economic growth rates. By investing in an Africa ETF, you can gain exposure to these economies and potentially benefit from their growth.


When it comes to Africa, you typically have the option of selecting investments in countries that are either frontier markets or emerging markets in Africa. Developed markets include countries with highly established stock markets and generally stable economies such as the United States, Japan and Singapore.


Emerging markets are countries with relatively stable economies and solid economic growth but they tend to be less stable than developed markets and there tends to be less access to African stock markets than you would find in developed markets.


Frontier markets are a step below emerging markets, with economies that are moving in the right direction but with not quite as much stability as emerging and developed markets. Or, in the case of Iceland, the government and economy are stable, but access to the stock markets is minimal.


Both Egypt and South Africa are classified as emerging markets, while countries such as Kenya, Mauritius, Morocco, Nigeria and Tunisia are classified as frontier markets. Botswana and Zimbabwe are two other nations that have attained standalone market status, which usually means these economies are being watched carefully to determine whether or not they are ready to move into frontier market status.



Investing in an Africa ETF can help diversify your portfolio and reduce overall risk. By spreading your investments across multiple economies and sectors, you can reduce the impact of market volatility in any one specific market. 


Access to Underserved Markets

Investing in Africa ETFs can provide access to markets that are often underserved by traditional investment options. This can be a great opportunity for investors looking to tap into emerging markets and potentially reap higher returns.


Low Fees

Compared to actively managed funds, ETFs typically have lower management fees, making them a cost-effective way to invest. This can be especially beneficial for investors who are looking to gain exposure to African markets, as many actively managed funds focused on Africa, can have high fees.


Risks of Investing in an Africa ETF

Political and Economic Instability

Investing in emerging markets, including Africa, comes with its share of risks, including political and economic instability. Some African countries have a history of political unrest and economic instability, which can impact market performance and make it more difficult for investors to realize returns.


Currency Risk

An investment in Africa may also come with currency risk. The value of your investment may be impacted by fluctuations in the currency exchange rates between the U.S. dollar and the foreign currency. This can be especially significant in African countries where the local currency may be less stable.


Limited Market Liquidity

African markets can be less liquid compared to developed markets, meaning that it may be difficult to buy or sell shares at a desired price. This can make it more challenging for investors to quickly respond to market conditions or to realize returns on their investments.


Reliance on a Small Number of Companies

Many Africa ETFs may be heavily reliant on a small number of companies, which can increase overall risk. This is because the performance of the ETF may be heavily influenced by the performance of these few companies, rather than the overall performance of the market.


Socially Responsible Investments

While the name of the game might be to build your portfolio and ensure future results for retirement, another investment objective that is becoming popular is socially responsible investing (SRI). With this, investors are looking for investments (in any asset class) that adhere to specific environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards.


If opting for SRIs is one of your target goals, it will be important to study the listing of companies within the ETF to ensure that these companies align with your personal goals and philosophies. Of course, you should also look at the investment return and principal as well as the expense ratios.


Ready To Invest? Research Is Crucial

Investing in an Africa ETF can provide exposure to fast-growing economies and offer the potential for higher returns. However, it's important to consider the risks involved, including political and economic instability, currency risk, limited market liquidity, and reliance on a small number of companies. Before making an ETF investment, such as a South Africa ETF or perhaps a frontier markets ETF,  it's recommended to conduct thorough research and consider the specific risks and benefits associated with the ETF.


Overall, diversifying your portfolio by investing in Africa can be a great way to tap into emerging markets and potentially reap higher returns. However, it's important to approach any investment decision with caution and to thoroughly understand the risks involved. As with any investment, it's important to carefully consider your goals and risk tolerance before making a decision on any Africa ETF.