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Nairobi beats peers as place to invest in Africa

By Protus Onyango | Published Thu, March 19th 2015 at 00:00, Updated March 18th 2015 at 21:09 GMT +3

Nairobi has been named the best in financial services on the African continent in a global conference in Geneva, Switzerland.

The capital city has also out-paced 20 major cities in Africa in terms of attracting investments, according to a PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) report released at the African CEO Forum 2015 in Geneva.

The report titled "Into Africa: The Continent's Cities of Opportunity' details the potential of 20 African cities that will be among the most dynamic on the continent.

The report is part of PwC's global Cities of Opportunity series and structured around the critical issues of the business community as well as those of the office holders and other public authorities who are responsible for improving the collective life of each city examined here.

According to the report, most of the African cities with promise can and will - with a little effort and organisation - climb to join those cities at the top of its overall ranking. "Moreover, many of them have already become key regional platforms, such as Dar es Salaam and Douala as centres for telecommunications, Accra and Lagos for culture, and Nairobi for financial services," it adds.

Outside top five cities, Kigali finishes at the very top for both ease of doing business and health spending; Abidjan ranks number one in both middle-class growth and diversity; Dar es Salaam is first in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth and Nairobi outscores all African cities in foreign direct investment (FDI).

In what it calls 'Afro-realism', PwC observes that with five per cent growth, dynamic demographics and a growing middle class, Africa is extremely appealing to investors. "After a period of pessimism about the future of Africa, leaders today share a more realistic view of the economic climate of the continent," the report says.

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