Nigeria and South Africa in Rivalry for Economic Leadership: Investment Flows as an Instrument of Influence


Ekaterina Zanoskina


For the first time in the history of Russian African studies, the article examines the role of Nigeria and South Africa in their investments in the continent in order to determine the most influential regional power in Africa. Both countries have significant economic and military capabilities and actively influence domestic regions by developing trade and investment. Basing on the analysis of the investment volume from Nigeria and South Africa to other African countries the author shows the position of these states in regional integration associations. The study led to the conclusion that South Africa surpasses Nigeria in terms of accumulated FDI and has greater potential for their increase in the future due to the BRICS partnership and a more favorable investment climate compared to Nigeria. Consequently, foreign investments in new projects in South Africa contribute to the improvement of the countries status as an economic center of the region. At the same time, South Africa companies occupy strong positions among the countries of the continent, contributing to the development of integration. Their influence is so great that even the decline in investment activity on the continent in recent years does not give Nigeria the opportunity to question South Africa leading place.


Africa, investment, regional leadership, Nigeria, South Africa




1. Africa by numbers. A focus on Nigeria, World Economic Forum on Africa 2014$FILE/EY-Nigeria-Country-Report.pdf (accessed 26.06 .2018)
2. Bobrova V.V., Protasov K.S. Pryamye inostrannye investicii v stranah BRIKS World Economy and International Relations, 2013. N 2, pp. 26–35.
3. Daniel J., Lutchman J., Comninos A. South Africa’s in Africa: trends and forecasts in a changing African political economy, State of the Nation: South Africa, edited by Buhlungu S., Daniel J., Southall R., Lutchman J. Cape Town, HSRC Press, 2007, pp. 508–532.
4. Doing Business 2019 The World Bank Group, (accessed March 26, 2019)
5. EY’s Attractiveness Program Africa, EY. 2017,$FILE/ey-attractiveness-program-africa-2017-connectivity-redefined.pdf (accessed 12.10 .2018)
6. Flemes D., Nolte D. ‘Introduction’, in Flemes, Daniel (ed.), Regional Leadership in the Global System: Ideas, Interests and Strategies of Regional Powers. Farnham: Ashgate, 2010, pp. 1–14.