Doing Business In Africa Part 1: Africa Rising

Doing Business In Africa Part 1: Africa Rising


(Photo: David Berkowitz)

The world's largest emerging market is waking up. The kitten is starting to grow a mane and the lion will soon be roaring. Africa is becoming a beast to be reckoned with on a global scale economically. Don't believe me? I’ve decided to put together a series of posts on “Why you should be doing business with Africa sooner than later” - here are a few statistics, thoughts, and firsthand looks into Africa currently:

  1. What if I told you there was over 1 BILLION people sitting on the most rich resources (as a whole) in the entire world? Would you say that’s an untapped market? Well take a look at this: Africa’s Population as a whole 1.03 Billion.
  2. When we were launching Big Africa (now Africa’s largest business directory), I was in charge of all of the research for our presentations when we would meet with various venture capitalists (VCs). What I found was that there are over 165 million Africans living outside of the African borders. And a recent poll of this "Diaspora” asked many of this group this question: "if given the right opportunities, would you return to your homeland?" 80% of the respondents replied with an overwhelming "Yes." (Side note here: the numbers are not exactly known, but what is known is that the 30+ million Africans in Europe send home at least $40 billion dollars annually to their families.)
  3. 500 million Africans have cell phones now.
  4. Of the 500 million who DON'T have cell phones, nearly every single one of them has access to a mobile phone (friend, family member, neighbor)
  5. With the burying of offshore deep sea cables, affordable broadband internet has recently been ushered into Africa. Since 2009, internet is growing leaps and bounds, nearly tripling yearly, if not more. Right now 11.4% of Africa is online. Can you imagine the potential here? 500 million cell phones, the internet capacity is growing, and some of the most creative and resilient people on the planet. Africa is an entrepreneur incubation ground. And it is starting to wake up.
As you can see, Africa is on the rise. If this peaks your interest, head over to Amazon and pick up the book called Africa Rising by Vijay Mahajan [affiliate link]. We’ll talk more about this book in an upcoming post discussing economics and business in Africa. But for now, stay tuned...more Africa talks to come. What is your view of Africa? If given the opportunity and the right relationships, would you do business in Africa?