Direct investment position of the United States in Africa from 2000 to 2018
(in billion U.S. dollars, on a historical-cost basis)
Direct investment position of the U.S. in Africa 2000-2018
After a peak in 2014, foreign direct investment (FDI) in Africa from the United States dropped to 47.80 billion U.S. dollars in 2018. Africa receives lower FDI inflows than any other region.

What is FDI?

FDI is when investors from one country, in this case the United States, invest in firms that are based abroad. Often investors do this to earn higher returns due to a risk premium. They will seek markets where default risk is higher. If their investments mature, the returns are higher than they would be in a place with less risk.

Effects of FDI

The United States has higher FDI outflows than any other country, in large part because its economy is so large. In addition to seeking higher returns, some investors are interested in cultivating international relationships. This could be an effort to expand the consumer base, shore up supply chains, or for humanitarian or cultural reasons. For the receiving country, FDI means an increase in capital. For emerging markets, this can be critical. When the number of banks per country is low, capital access becomes difficult.
Direct investment position of the United States in Africa from 2000 to 2018
(in billion U.S. dollars, on a historical-cost basis)
Direct investments in billion U.S. dollars
201847.8
201750.29
201651.69
201552
201469.03
201360.88
201255.85
201157
201054.82
200943.94
200836.75
200732.61
200628.16
200522.76
200420.36
200319.84
200216.04
200115.57
200011.89
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Source

Release date

July 2019

Region

United States

Survey time period

2000 to 2018

Supplementary notes

In accounting, historical cost is the original monetary value of an economic item. Historical cost is based on the stable measuring unit assumption. In some circumstances, assets and liabilities may be shown at their historical cost, as if there had been no change in value since the date of acquisition.
U.S. direct investment abroad is defined as ownership by a U.S. investor of at least 10 percent of a foreign business. The direct investor is known as a U.S. parent, and the U.S.-owned foreign business is known as a foreign affiliate. International transactions statistics cover the foreign affiliates’ transactions with their U.S. parents, so these statistics focus on the U.S. parent’s share, or interest, in its affiliates rather than on the affiliates’ overall size or level of operations. The major items include capital flows, which measure the funds that U.S. parents provide to their foreign affiliates, and income, which measures the return on those funds. Direct investment position statistics are stocks and are cumulative; they measure the total outstanding level of U.S. direct investment abroad at year end.

Direct investment position of the U.S. in Africa 2000-2018
After a peak in 2014, foreign direct investment (FDI) in Africa from the United States dropped to 47.80 billion U.S. dollars in 2018. Africa receives lower FDI inflows than any other region.

What is FDI?

FDI is when investors from one country, in this case the United States, invest in firms that are based abroad. Often investors do this to earn higher returns due to a risk premium. They will seek markets where default risk is higher. If their investments mature, the returns are higher than they would be in a place with less risk.

Effects of FDI

The United States has higher FDI outflows than any other country, in large part because its economy is so large. In addition to seeking higher returns, some investors are interested in cultivating international relationships. This could be an effort to expand the consumer base, shore up supply chains, or for humanitarian or cultural reasons. For the receiving country, FDI means an increase in capital. For emerging markets, this can be critical. When the number of banks per country is low, capital access becomes difficult.
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