In the World Economic Forum’s report from 2016 one can read the following:
- Africa needs infrastructure such as roads, railways, airports, power grids, telecom and data networks. Companies that can provide infrastructure products and services can therefore prosper (Naventure invests in crossroads for road construction in Nigeria)
- African trade barriers are falling and there is a huge potential for intra-African trade
- A growing customer base with the growth of the African middle class
- Digital transformation. Africa is already leading with payment features on the mobile, but in many other ways, Africans are quick to apply mobile technology
- African is (finally) diversifying beyond raw materials. Several African countries now see a return diaspora that brings their professional skills back to Africa and develops its industry.
- Africa can lead in sustainable development by taking care of what works elsewhere in the world without being burdened by old technology that needs to be maintained.
Development in Sub-Sahara Africa
Summary from IMF’s annual report Oct 2013
- High growth rate for almost 15 years and it may be the world’s fastest growing region.
- Between 2000 and 2012, the number of middle-income countries increased from 9 to 22, with a combined population of 380 million
- 85 million households belong to the “global consumer class” and is expected to increase to 120 million by 2020
- Trade with the rest of the world has increased by 200% between 2000 and 2012
- Swedish exports to sub-Saharan Africa is more than twice as large as exports to India
- For the first time ever live less than half of the population in absolute poverty
Why is Africa’s time now?
Summary from Harvard Business Review oct 2013
- Huge market
- Relatively good political stabilitity
- Large labor force, soon the world’s largest, many with good education
Inter-African trade is being developed
- Use of mobile phones and smartphones explodes.
- Communication is a prerequisite for trading, for instance to be able to sell and order products.
- Being able to pay electronically is a prerequisite for trading remotely. Many have no bank account and credit card, therefore payment system linked to mobile payment is a key factor.
- Extensive national public investments is done in education and health
- The largest share of the world’s unutilized arable land is found in Africa
Reflections on the development
- Several leaders of major international companies have realized this and have already started or are planning to move e.g. production and other activities to African countries.
- This is positive provided that the employees receive fair wages and commodity resources in an ecologically sustainable way
- It is even better if African entrepeneours can start and run businesses and thus have greater opportunity to take control of the development and greater opportunity to influence their future.
- We operate in a time window in which multinational companies will dominate in Africa if African small business owners have time to grow strong quickly enough.
- Naventure want to help African businesses to develop. We believe this provides the best opportunity for sustainable development, functioning democracy and equality in African societies and countries.