Exploring Business Opportunities in Africa
With Europe heading for an economic slowdown, Africa, which has been described as the “Last Economic Frontier,” continues to grow fast, registering a GDP growth of 5.3% last year. 2015 too, promises to be an exciting year for African entrepreneurs. What makes Africa special is the great demographic dividend that the vast continent possesses – a large number of well educated, English speaking workers, who can be hired at a fraction of their counterparts in the West.
There’s more to Africa than that, and here, we discuss the 5 great areas of growth in African business, namely, in the areas of agriculture, tourism, mining, infrastructure and fast moving consumer goods. There has never been a better opportunity to form a partnership business in Africa, and there has never been a better chance for African entrepreneurs to emerge as business partners of top companies in the West, looking to do business in Africa. As an African small businessman, we encourage you to use our website to look for business partner in various countries to help you with your business.
That being said, let’s have a look at 5 great business opportunities in Africa.
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Africa offers enormous opportunities for agro-based companies. 60% of land area in the African continent is yet to be farmed, which indicates the great potential for growth. Also, while the green revolution never really took off in Africa, this time, with the help of businesses from China, Russia and India, there is every possible chance of a vast improvement in agricultural processes in the large continent.
Besides, let’s look at the facts – the global population has crossed 7 billion – which means 7 billion more mouths to feed – more food required, which in turns means more land would be required. Where can you get all the land? Africa, of course! That’s why, if you’re an entrepreneur in Africa, you should look at becoming a business partner of agro-companies in the West, and get involved in the marketing or production of seeds, fertilizers and pesticides, as well as seek to fulfill grain refining and food processing demands.
While export of oil and gas and minerals earns a lot in precious foreign exchange for Africa, most of the people benefiting from these businesses are big businessmen. That’s why tourism – which provides gainful employment and business opportunity for hundreds of millions of Africa, is still Africa’s #1 business for the common man. Imagine this – 50 million tourists visit Africa every year – this is way more than what India, which has more people than the whole of Africa put together gets – just 7 million. Africa is a hot tourist destination, has always been so. There are so many opportunities for a young businessman or woman here, whether as a tourist guide operator, boat operator, manufacturer or seller of handcrafted designs, clothes and jewelry – the sky is the limit when it comes to tourism business opportunities in Africa.
Mining is an opportunity for the wealthier business investor in Africa. But there are several young African entrepreneurs who have been known to start with nothing, getting into export-import businesses, becoming business partners of top companies in the West or Asia, and going on to become multimillionaires. Africa has a plenty of iron ore, coal, bauxite, gold, tin, lead, zinc, diamond, cobalt, gold, copper and minerals, which offers a terrific opportunity for the promising young entrepreneur.
A World Bank report from 2008 says that Africa requires $80 billion worth investment each year for infrastructure development. Young entrepreneurs can really achieve great success if they start businesses geared at improving the infrastructure in Africa. To do so, they will have to become business partners of the local governing authorities. Opportunities are plentiful in building power, road and railway infrastructure, water resources, and so on. Telecom is another high growth area for young entrepreneurs. An ambitious small entrepreneur can take advantage of the deficiency in Africa’s infrastructure by starting a mobile charging service, as large parts of Africa have no electricity, but have mobile phones.
Fast Moving Consumer Goods
Africa is no longer as poor as it once was, and there is today a rising middle class in Africa that wants home care and personal care products such as toothpastes, soaps, shaving cream, shaving lotions, deodorants, and so on. There is also a great demand for food beverages, soft drinks and processed food as people are today more willing to splurge on food. Alcoholic drinks and cigarettes are also quite popular. For a young entrepreneur this represents a major opportunity. One way to get ahead in the game is to work as business partners of Western or Asian enterprises and market their products in Africa.
This article is a part of our series on “Exploring Opportunities.” Our goal is to inform and motivate young entrepreneurs in emerging countries, and we hope this initiative helps, in its own small way. Please send us your suggestions on how we may help to serve you better. Ciao!
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