Why Africa? A roaring Lion in Motion

We will be exploring innovative ecosystems in Africa Jan 27 – Feb 22, but why Africa? To answer this question, I refer you to a recent article by Growth for Africa (below)  which outlines some opportunities and reasons for doing business in Africa. Enjoy and feel free to reach out if you are interested in hearing more about the trip. 

My Itinerary is as follows

Addis Ababa: Jan 27-31
Nairobi: Feb 1-5
Kampala: Feb 5-9
Kigali: Feb 9-14
Johannesburg: Feb 14-16
Cape Town: Feb 16-22

We wish to share and attract you to a continent full of business opportunities. We see and live in these opportunities in full. If you are a business or entrepreneur looking for growth and frontier markets then Africa has what you are looking for.

Our invitation to invest your business and/or money in the continent is an invitation to join current affairs and events beyond the imagery of the past. Today’s picture is one of a 54 countries’ large continent with tremendous economic growth, investment, and rapidly rising living standards. We welcome you to the 21st century Africa which is about opportunities, technology, and entrepreneurship.

Across the continent, national and regional economies are consistently accelerating their growth and attracting the attention of foreign investors. This change is driven by a number of factors, including more democratic and accountable governments; economic policies which increasingly favour and facilitate international trade; a new generation of policy-makers and business leaders; innovative information and communication technologies; an emerging spirit of entrepreneurship; and a growing middle class of relative prosperity with a taste for modern consumer goods.

Currently, 6 of the world’s 10 fastest growing economies are in Africa, and the ease of doing business in Africa is improving to the extent that a good number of countries (including South Africa, Ghana, Mauritius and Tunisia) now outperform China, India, Brazil and Russia. In addition, FDI inflows to Africa have demonstrated year-to-year growth since 2010 and now amount to $50 billion.

Despite these promising trends, significant development challenges persist across the African continent. GrowthAfrica is built on a profound belief that the development and expansion of private business activities and partnerships is a key tool to driving sustainable development in Africa. We possess the experience and expertise to assist you in designing and implementing a business model, which maximizes profitability while simultaneously contributing to Africa’s development.

Promising forecasts for the years to come are leading to optimistic outlooks among those early movers who have already identified the huge potential of the African continent with its one billion people spread across 54 markets. It is time for forward-thinking businesses to seize the opportunity and accept the African invitation. We are here to assist your business as it explores and embraces a continent of opportunities, and to ensure that your vision and efforts are translated into a story of sustainable commercial success.

Key figures: The attractiveness of business in Africa:

Population and demographics

  • 40% of the global population growth will be in Africa by 2050
  • More than 50% of Africa’s population is under 20 years old, making it the world’s youngest continent – in comparison only 28 % of the population of China is under 20 years old
  • 500 million Africans are between the age of 18 and 24. By 2040, the forecast is 1.1 billion —more than in China or India

Markets and consumers

  • Consumer expenditure is set to rise from $600 billion in 2010 to nearly $1 trillion in 2020
  • Urban African consumers spend the largest share of their budgets (45%) on food and groceries –more than the average consumer in the BRIC countries
  • More than half of all African households are projected to have discretionary income by 2020 – corresponding to almost 130.000 households
  • Consumer-facing industries (retail/wholesale, banking, telecommunication and tourism) in Africa are expected to grow by $400 billion by 2020, with apparel, consumer goods and food accounting for $185 billion

Economic performance

  • GDP growth for the continent is forecast at 5.4% in 2013 and 5.7% in 2014
  • 6 of 10 of the world’s fastest growing economies are currently in Africa
  • FDI inflows to Africa have increased by 13.6% and FDI outflows by 55.6% since 2010
  • Average annual return on capital of African companies was 65-70% or higher than that of comparable companies in China, India, Indonesia, and Vietnam

Doing business in Africa

  • The Doing Business 2013 Report ranks Mauritius, South Africa, Rwanda, Botswana, Ghana, Tunisia and Namibia above China (the best performing BRIC country), while Morocco, Zambia, Egypt, Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia and Nigeria rank above India and Brazil
  • Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index 2012 ranks Botswana, Rwanda, Namibia, Ghana, South Africa, Liberia and Tunisia better than China and India in terms of the perceived corruption levels of public institutions

Capital is not the only king!

The success of the vast majority of the business opportunities waiting for you in Africa are based on investing capital and the knowledge and expertise to develop the human capital who will deliver and drive your business success. Building social capital (promote social accountability, transparency and demand-side governance) is another key area that many especially African and western businesses will stand to benefit from. The markets are here, the number of potential customers is growing and the human capital is greatly available and eager to absorb and deploy the expertise that investors will bring.

Regardless of the area or sector, investors with a long-term view and the right local partners who can assist them enter a market and bring an understanding of the continent, its cultures and people will have high rewards. Africa’s fundamentals appear strong, and the continent’s outlook remains positive. The belief remains unshakable among Africans that tomorrow will be better than today and that is the kind of infectious confidence in which investments thrive.

With the backing of the international community more African governments are embracing the right reforms, building the right institutions, growing resilient economies and making the right policy choices, including diversifying their economies away from oil, gas and mining to the massive job-creating promise held by agriculture and small and medium-size enterprise creation.

The global economy is to gain greatly from high-performing Africa that can be the next global growth pole and its next market. Global prosperity will expand if Africa grows and prospers. The message to any company or investor still not in Africa is that today is the day that business in Africa is made and it might already be too late tomorrow. Africa is the now, no longer the future. Any CEO who has not presented his or her board of directors with their Africa strategy needs to get to work on such a plan.

The Africa train has already left the station. You are either on it or you risk becoming irrelevant.

Original Article available here