Your Go To Investment Areas in Africa
Africa’s growing population and market present a great opportunity for business environment where the global growth is currently slow. There is greater need for innovation and investment for businesses in order to meet Africa’s demand for goods and services. There is opportunity in a population that is fast growing and urbanizing, in industrialization and innovations to unleash the wealth and resources in agriculture. Investors are encouraged to think about African cities and not just its country side. By the end of the decade, there will be nearly more cities with at least a million inhabitants. Rapid urbanization is one of the reasons why a company should make a city the central focus for their growth strategies.
Also in the cities, per capita consumption in large cities is almost double. This is evident by the opening of large shopping malls for example, Mall Of Africa in South Africa which is a massive 131,000 square meters of retail space and right here in Nairobi, the Two Rivers Mall which is the largest mall in East Africa. Both local and international supermarkets like Shoprites, Game and Woolworths, just to mention a few, are expanding their branches right here in this continent taking advantage of the retail market in Africa.
One sector that cannot be overlooked is the digital sector. The digital economy is growing really fast. If you are looking for a suitable hotel accommodation, you could just log in onto a website like booking.com and book! If you want to watch African movies there is already an app for that and so applies to ordering clothing, furniture or any other item online. More apps and online services will launch across Africa to solve problems and in the process more businesses will be created. There is a surge in demand for digital skills as more jobs and education providers need to adjust to this need. Take a scenario where a worker shares photos via their smartphone to the management, a business in Uganda that uses mobile banking services or a student accessing their results in their school’s portal. Agribusiness persons will need training on how to use financial software to track income and expenses. Office workers will need to know how to use software programs to make presentations and submit work online. Tourism operators are now using social media platforms to build attractive website. These are examples of how we can use digital skills in our day to day activities and grow our businesses with. To bridge this digital gap, we have seen a group for learning like Andela which builds remote engineering teams to support global and local technology by recruiting top software engineers to train and match their talents to client’s need.
The chairman of the pan-African company Econet Group, Strive Masiyiwa, once said “Africa is a continent with extraordinary challenges, and it’s a copout just to wait for governments to deal with them. If you see a problem then think of how you can solve it.” There are tremendous opportunities for entrepreneurs that are ready to solve problems and innovate Africa’s unmet needs. For example a mobile company in Nigeria that signed more than eight million people in less than a decade and processes more in billions in a year.
Egypt brags about being the most appealing economy. The country has an advantage of having a good demographic market and a favorite tourist destination for quite a number of people including investors. They have improved on external investment into the market, have grown industries plus they have devalued their currency to reflect the market value. Since its access into the African Union and Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Morocco is currently developing. It is the most visited country in terms of tourism in the African continent. Their culture, sights, sounds of medina adds to its unique travel destination. Rwanda holds a place in the list of most suitable investment areas in Africa. The country was pushed by a very favorable business environment which involves the domestic industries and increase in foreign direct investment. Kenya also joins the list since it has favorable weather conditions in a more pacified political environment. Kenya benefits from diversity as well as expanded consumer demand. The results of urbanization, infrastructure including oil pipeline, railways and ports not forgetting its integration into the East African Community (EAC) has been to its advantage. And the list of more countries in Africa that attract business investments both foreign and local, seems to grow over the years. The financial services and the health sector remains a key focus for many and was noted as a target industry by countries in the East and Southern Africa while mining is mainly based in Southern Africa.
Africa as an investment destination continues to grow with the continent being viewed as an investment market with great potential.