Doing business in Africa

Thinking about starting a business? Well Africa looks promising and you might consider giving the place another look. I just saw a TV program on how farmer entrepreneurs from Denmark are setting up shop in central Africa and it does seem that our stereotypical notion of Africa as an in need of development could change into an engine for consumer goods. According to the US commercial service are the prospects within central and West Africa very promising and definitely worth another look. Especially within these areas there are some big prospects.

  • Oil and gas extraction and refining equipment industries

Nothing new in this where Nigeria and the Niger delta have been prospected for oil for several decades. While there have been major human rights issues there is room for companies who have high ethical standards.

  • Mining

The list of countries that have a poor record on mining activities within the region is very long. But now is companies like Nokia, Ericsson and other leading users of minerals looking for mining companies who can guarantee that prospecting is done to certain ethical standards and that they are conflict free. Entrepreneurs with contacts will be able to make a serious profit in these areas in the coming years.   

  • Agro-industrial machinery and chemical

It is no big news that many African countries need improved productivity and yield in their agricultural production. The news is that large scale farming is finding its way into Africa and that producers of specialized equipment can make a real impact in this area if they can match quality and cost.

  • Food processing equipment and technology

With increased productivity comes the need for high quality refinement equipment. Linking the production and refinement can transform the entrepreneurial business into highly productive and profitable business.  

  • Telecommunications

Telecommunication has become one of the biggest growth markets in what is known as the developing world. It has transformed how people communicate and get information in an unprecedented way. More and more African consumers get access to telecommunication and so does their need for additional services where a mobile telephone can be ideal to use. This could be for home banking, as a tool for payment like credit cards or a source of revenue in itself. While the market for telecommunication in Africa is highly competitive there are openings in the world of low cost apps or creating tailor made programs that can be filled by the fast moving entrepreneur.     

  • Cosmetics and consumer goods

A few years ago it would be strange to think about Africa as a target for consumer goods but in certain areas of the continent there are a growing middle class who wants some of the same goods as we are getting used to.

The markets that is regarded as the most lucrative are:

Ghana, Senegal, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique and The Gambia can be regarded as good markets with relative political stability and relatively easy entry.

Nigeria, Liberia and Cameroon are looked at as good markets that may pose more of a challenge but could present more opportunities as the markets are still maturing.

Togo, Benin, Gabon, Cote d’Ivoire and Guinea can be good markets but where entry into the market may require extra effort and comprehensive local knowledge about the business culture.

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One thought on “Doing business in Africa

  1. Pingback: Doing business in Africa (via SRI Portfolio Management) « Tekpa's Blog

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