The Final Frontier: Non-IT Opportunities in Africa – Part 1
THE FINAL FRONTIER: DOING BUSINESS IN AFRICA
As a global outreach firm, Auerbach International is both a premier language agency and a world marketing consultancy (research, strategies, cultures and skills to penetrate overseas markets). This series presents unfamiliar opportunities to help you expand your business.
Does your business need a boost? Are you looking for new growth markets, where you can make double digit returns? Investors like you have found a region that fits the bill.
This region is as big as the USA, China and the European Union combined (over 30 million km2), with a potential customer base of over 1.1 billion people and over 50% of the population less than 20 years old. This is home to over 100,000 millionaires and several billionaires, with a lot more people destined to be millionaires in the coming years.
This region is Africa – but not the Africa of occasional coups, wars and strife that fill the news. The less known news is that African countries are typically very open to foreign investors who can benefit from tax waivers and trade incentives that are not so readily available to foreigners in other countries.
Africa has several relatively untapped high growth opportunities including:
Agriculture has been the traditional mainstay of Africa albeit a subsistence one. The continent is gradually waking up to modernized farming methods and ramping up its food production. Several African governments grant waivers and incentives for processing agriculture produce with the objective of significantly increasing their value in the world market. Furthermore, these governments are working aggressively to provide power at a competitive rate to these processors.
The increase in purchasing power among consumers has resulted in significant increase in shopping online and in brick-and-mortar stores. Africans generally appreciate the good things of life and place premium on foreign brands.
Africa has an abundance of minerals – Gold, bauxite, cobalt, diamonds, phosphate rocks, platinum-group metals (PGM), vermiculite, zirconium etc. In addition, the continent is blessed with huge oil and gas reserves with a number of large oil producers in countries like Nigeria and Angola. Recently, crude oil in commercial quantities has been discovered in several countries such as Ghana and Uganda.
The service industry is picking up in Africa. Several countries are specializing and building niche markets where they can compete effectively. For example, Gambia is focused on tourism, while Nigeria is modernizing its banking and other financial services.
TO BE CONTINUED…
Future parts of this series will present IT Opportunities, Challenges and Success Strategies.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Tunde Ladipo is a consultant and an adviser to African Governments and the Private Sector on economic and investment issues. He has worked extensively in Africa, the US and Europe. He has experience in Extractives (Oil & Gas), Financial and Retail Services. Tunde holds an MBA and Masters of Engineering Management. You can contact him through Auerbach International.