The foreign direct investments in Egypt were estimated at $5.9 billion in 2020, the UNCTAD said in its World Investment Report 2021 report on Monday.

According to the report, the COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on foreign direct investment in Africa as flows to the continent declined by 16% in 2020 to $40 billion, from $47 billion in 2019.

Cascading economic and health challenges due to the pandemic combined with low prices of energy commodities weighed heavily on foreign investment to the continent, said the report.

The report showed that commodity-dependent countries were affected more severely than non-resource-based economies. “The challenging environment affected all aspects of foreign investment,” said UNCTAD’s director of investment and enterprise, James Zhan.

Greenfield project announcements, a measure of investor sentiment and future FDI trends, dropped by 62% to $29 billion, from $77 billion in 2019.

Cross-border mergers and acquisitions (M&As), fell by 45% to $3.2 billion, from $5.8 billion in 2019. International project finance announcements, especially relevant for large infrastructure projects, plummeted by 74% to $32 billion.