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East Africa Records Double Digit Growth in FDI at $11.5 Billion

East Africa more than doubled its Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) in 2019 buoyed by China’s increasing interest in the region’s manufacturing, construction and services sector.

According to data released by the East Africa’s Trade and Investment Report, Foreign direct investments to Kenya were mainly directed into the information, communication and technology, and healthcare sectors.

The report puts the total FDI flow into the region at Kes 1.2 trillion in 2019.

According to the report, all the six East African Community countries except Tanzania posted increased inflows in 2019 with Inflows to Dar-es-salaam declining by 16% to Kes 270 billion in 2019 from Kes 320 billion in 2018.

The report attributes Tanzania’s decline to political uncertainty occasioned by the general elections that were held last month and also states the possible decline in economic activities as Uganda nears their general elections in early 2021.

The report indicate that China was the largest investor in 2019, accounting for 59.7% of the total FDI inflows into the region, with significant investments in manufacturing, construction, and services

Kenya saw a total of 250 billion shillings worth of inflows which created 16,573 jobs accounting for 10.4% of total jobs created over the period under review.

Among key investments project was the construction of the Mombasa road elevated expressway at a cost of 62 billion shillings.

The number of jobs created due to FDI inflows into EAC increased by 135% to 212 thousand jobs in 2019 from 90 thousand in 2018.

FDI contributed 62,876 jobs in Uganda accounting for (18.2%) of total jobs created, while FDI into Tanzania created 46,765 jobs accounting for 47.9% of the total jobs created.

Rwanda’s total investment inflows increased by 22.6%, reaching 250 billion shillings compared to 210 billion in 2018, mainly due to domestic investments. In Uganda, total investment flows into the country increased by 22.2% to 140 billion shillings in 2019 from 110 billion in 2018.