The latest update of the country risk ranking covers the Middle East and Africa. South Africa falls to 14th position .

The first quarter of 2022 saw Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which sent adverse shocks to several countries around the world. Some of which affected the MEA (Middle East and Africa) markets. In particular, the external impact on the food and energy and trade sectors. While several markets such as Congo, Cameroon and Egypt, which rely heavily on wheat imports from Russia, were negatively affected, it is worth noting that oil exporters such as Algeria, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were have benefited from rising price levels (World Bank, AfDB).

Among other current issues, these events are embedded in the factors affecting investment and business opportunities in MEA markets, as measured by the overall country risk rating. The overall risk rating is a composite rating that measures the extent to which economic, political, financial, health, security and other factors can affect investment and business in a country. The overall risk rating of 0 is the best possible rating and ten is the worst. We see that the top 3 markets, UAE (5.28), Qatar (5.34) and Israel (5.39), are the best performers based on overall risk ratings. On the other hand, we note that African markets such as South Sudan (8.64) and Somalia (8.50) are the lowest ranked markets.

Most countries' overall risk ratings have worsened since 2021. Qatar is an exception. Qatar's overall risk rating improved from 5.51 to 5.34 and is now second in the country risk ranking. Although still in first place, the UAE saw an increase in its risk rating from 5.06 to 5.28.

South Africa and Morocco dropped out of the top ten markets to 14th positions and 16 , respectively, with an increase in the risk rating of South Africa from 5.87 to 6.38 and Morocco from 6.02 to 6.45. These are just a few examples of worsening overall risk ratings. However, ample trade and investment opportunities remain present in the MEA region.

Source: ABIConsulting