Africa is a continent on the rise – it has enjoyed robust growth and this is not likely to stall in the next few years. In fact, more investments are pouring into the continent, despite (or perhaps exactly because of the global slowdown and worries within the developed part of the world). Investors are looking for places to put their money, and Africa fits the bill perfectly. It’s not because places other than Africa are not lucrative. It’s because Africa is transforming. It’s changing. It’s opening up. Here’s an overview of the latest trends in business, technology and investment in Africa.
On its very basic level, Africa should be congratulated. It has never been in such good shape – and this, considering that most nations only gained their independence about half a century ago. Most countries are now at peace, serious health improvements have allowed families to grow, and technology is rapidly on the rise.
This has caused a great demographic shift – whilst it is true that Africa’s population is expected to grow rapidly, it is also true that Africa has the most rapidly growing middle class in the world – which means more consumption and high productivity levels. The African middle class is attracting investors and will increasingly have influence on a global scale.
This also means more and more people are looking to belong to that middle class and, as with other countries in the world, people are flocking to cities to look for work and develop their skills. It’s projected that in 2025, Africa will have 12 ‘megacities’ – megacities that can rival those of any other continent. This urbanisation invariably means people will need different products and services – more opportunities for growth.
Just to give you an example: Africa has the greatest mobile broadband growth in the world. Large network providers have penetrated even the rural areas, and this creates much room for innovation in both social and business spheres.
Some challenges: climate change
There remain some serious challenges, of course. One great worry is climate change. Africa’s population is growing rapidly, and with its depleting resources coupled with global climate change, it’s distressing to think it may not be able to develop its agrarian and agricultural sector to suit its needs. The same problems could also be related to the energy sector. With its current population growth, Africa is projected to have only half a century of natural oil and gas left. Innovation is a must and Africa will have to do a little better over the next decades – taking advantage of its growing population and making full use of foreign investments.
But Africa – and Africa companies – are on the rise, there’s no doubt about it – and with these Africa companies striving to compete on the global stage, there’s no way to look but up.
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