M&A Flash: Deepa Vallabh: South Africa is not the only gateway into Africa

Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr's cross-border M&A head says foreign investors are also considering Kenya and Botswana.

Foreign investors wanting a foothold into Africa are considering Kenya and Botswana as landing spots.

It has been a long-held belief among international investors with a yearning appetite to enter Africa that South Africa is the gateway to rest of the continent.

South Africa is a desirable landing spot for investors wary of venturing into African countries to the east and north, given the country’s relatively sophisticated economy, liquid financial markets and world-class infrastructure.

But in the past couple of years, other African countries have become a lot more stable and democratic in their politics and public policies. As a result, investments are being made in jurisdictions across Africa, often bypassing South Africa, said Deepa Vallabh (pictured), who heads up Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr’s cross-border mergers and acquisitions division for Africa and Asia.

Uncertainty over politics in South Africa and public policies has dented confidence in the investment community, resulting in investors becoming more risk-averse towards the country. But this doesn’t necessarily mean that international investors have written off South Africa, said Deepa.

“South Africa is still the preferred gateway into Africa. The reason for this is because of the developed infrastructure, service economy and a strong banking culture. The service economy and banking industry is comparable to  first world jurisdictions and therefore  South Africa has a very strong offering.”

The full interview with Deepa was published on www.manda.co.za. 

Read more: South Africa is not the only gateway into Africa, says Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr’s Deepa Vallabh.