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Investing in Africa



investing in Africa

Let’s talk about Africa. There are some things we assume and some familiar information that most people know about this continent, but there’s far more that is unknown to the rest of the world. Some interesting, yet more familiar kinds of facts are that Africa is the second most populated area of the world and over 50% of its population is composed of individuals under the age of 25. It is the world’s most underdeveloped, impoverished continent with over 40% of the adult population being illiterate. Over 25 million people in Africa are HIV positive and around 90% of the world’s malaria cases occur in Africa.

This all fits into the doom and gloom perspective that most of Western civilization carries about the entire continent of Africa, but it is far from the whole story. On the flip side of the African narrative, we see a booming economy; the only one projected to grow by double digits in the next decade. We see a continent that is home to the top five fastest growing economies in the world in 2019. We see an economy that is growing at 2x the global average. When we look at all the problems and challenges of African life, we can actually see that these issues, while overwhelming, are not insurmountable, and they have actually created an environment of massive potential for growth and opportunities that are both good for investors and companies and good for African society as a whole.

There are five core areas for growth in the African economy; agriculture, energy, finance, education, and healthcare. Each of these areas have massive needs, and therefore multitudes of pathways for success and betterment.

Although Africa has 60% of the world’s arable land, it also faces serious storage issues, which means that up to 12% of its harvests are lost and sub-Saharan Africa imports $15 billion in food annually. Investments to infrastructure and agricultural inputs could triple agricultural yields.

In the energy sector, Africa is actually doing far better than most other regions of the world. For example, 13% of Kenya’s energy comes from geothermal and 50% comes from hydroelectricity. That puts the US & the UK to shame with each of them sourcing only 11% from renewable energy sources.

The finance sector is poised to grow as 80% of Africans now have access to mobile phones, and mobile transactions have surpassed traditional banking. In 2019, mobile transactions reached $456.3 billion and African banking revenue will reach $129 billion by 2022.

The African education system has seen huge improvements as more sub-Saharan children are receiving an education now than ever before, and 2020 saw a 97% increase in ed tech usage. Nevertheless, only 28 million out of 450+ million children are benefiting from the available education avenues. There’s plenty of room to grow.

Although 16% of the global population lives in Africa, it holds only 2% of the world’s doctors. This huge disparity has created the perfect environment for growing the health tech market. By 2024, the healthcare sector will reach over $37.1 billion.

All this leads to the conclusion that Africa is ripe with opportunities for investments, partnerships, and entrepreneurialism, and with startup funding having grown by 4x in recent years, it’s the perfect venue for new business ventures.

Africa is thriving and growing, and it’s time we grow with it. Learn more about investing in Africa in the infographic below:

Investing In Africa Infographic

Brian Wallace is the Founder and President of NowSourcing, an industry leading infographic design agency , based in Louisville, KY and Cincinnati, OH which works with companies that range from startups to Fortune 500s. Brian also runs #LinkedInLocal events nationwide, hosts the Next Action Podcast, and has been named a Google Small Business Advisor for 2016-present and joined the SXSW Advisory Board in 2019. Follow Brian Wallace on LinkedIn as well as Twitter.