Foreign Direct Investments and Economic Growth of African Regions: A Comparative Study
The paper examines the impact of Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs)on economic growth in the five regions of Africa, as well as identifies their respective drivers of growth. It employs the Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) multiple regression analysis to examine the relative impact of Foreign Direct Investments, balance of payments, trade openness, technology and quality of labour force on economic growth in each of the five regions between 1980 and 2012. The study finds that foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) have no significant impact on economic growth in the five regions of Africa. The impact of FDI on growth is positive in Eastern, Middle and Western Africa but negative in Northern and Southern Africa. Similarly, there are differentials in the drivers of growth in the five regions. While trade openness is a negative driver of growth in all regions of Africa except in Northern Africa, both balance of payments and quality of labour force have mixed impacts on economic growth in Africa. In addition, technological progress impacted growth in Middle, Southern Africa and Western Africa but it appears that lack of it retarded growth in Eastern and Northern Africa. The study calls for policy reform frameworks that encourage and boost foreign Direct Investment flows to all regions of Africa, particularly Direct Investments in critical sectors of the economies, as well as check the negative effects of foreign Direct Investments. Furthermore, it recommends that regional economic blocks in Africa should be resuscitated and supported to develop and promote intra-Africa trade and Investments.