Africa Loses Shine in Global Mining Investment Race

Africa’s once-promising allure for mining exploration has dimmed considerably, according to the latest Fraser Institute Survey of Mining Companies. The continent now houses the most jurisdictions ranked at the bottom of the global attractiveness index, raising concerns about policy uncertainty and environmental regulations.

While rich in mineral wealth, numerous African nations are failing to translate their geological potential into investor confidence. The Fraser Institute survey, a benchmark for investment attractiveness, paints a concerning picture. Countries like Niger, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Senegal languish near the bottom, with Niger ranking as the least favourable jurisdiction overall.

Even established players like South Africa are experiencing a downward trajectory. Its score on the Investment Attractiveness Index continues to plummet, dropping it to 62nd place out of 86 jurisdictions. This follows a similar decline for Namibia and other resource-rich African nations.

Botswana remains a beacon of hope, maintaining a respectable 15th place ranking. However, even their score has dipped slightly compared to last year. Morocco also shows promise, with a decent showing on the Policy Perception Index.

The Fraser Institute attributes this decline to investor anxieties surrounding environmental regulations, the designation of protected areas, and unpredictable labour policies. This uncertainty creates a hesitant investment climate, hindering exploration efforts across the continent.

While Africa boasts vast mineral reserves, it’s clear that geological potential alone isn’t enough. To recapture investor enthusiasm, African nations need to address policy concerns and create a more transparent and predictable regulatory environment.

The message is clear: improve the business environment or risk getting left behind in the global mining race. The Fraser Institute survey serves as a wake-up call, urging African nations to prioritize policies that foster exploration and unlock their mineral wealth’s true potential.


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