Why Africa is the Best Continent to Invest Right Now
What problems do your society face at the moment? Think carefully about the things that you could change or improve if you had the chance? I am learning more and more that the decision to delegate is a critical skill to be learned by all entrepreneurs. From my own point of view, you need to have people who can help and advise you. I also recently read via Time Magazine that Mark Zuckerberg recently shared his #1 hiring rule with an audience in Barcelona—and it’s a little surprising:
“I will only hire someone to work directly for me if I would work for that person”.
You don’t have to leave all the baggage to yourself.” When trying to take on too many things, you fall short on plenty of other details, just as critical for the full functioning of your organization
How does this relate to Africa you may ask? Well, the continent has been known for massive corruption and massive power abuse for many years in the past. However, this trend seems to have been taken a different turn in recent years. There has been a greater sense of collaboration between nations and more leaders are delegating tasks. According to the Economist, “Foreign investment into Africa rose by 5% in 2012 and 10% in 2013. Foreign investors are becoming more interested in the non-resource sectors of African economies: a third of intra-African foreign investment is in financial services”.
The last time I was in Africa, was when I visited some family members in Tunisia, where they had been relocated because of the instability in Ivory Coast. In fact , between 2010/2011, my country of origin, Ivory Coast, experienced some serious social unrest through post-election violence and between supporters of current president Alassane Ouattara and those loyal to previous candidate Laurent Gbagbo. I was thankful not to be in the country at this time but the remaining of my family was there during the decade of instability and reduced economic growth that preceded the post-election violence.
I have not been back in Africa in over a decade but planning to return soon to witness the changes for myself. Therefore, finding new creative ways and economically feasible methods to improve the continent, is the main goal here, especially by mirroring other successful English African countries as business models.
One thing is certain for sure, throughout the continent, is the overwhelming commercial activities taking place. In Africa, everyone is hustling to carve out a better life, from bankers in air conditioned lobby, to the large beverage company trucks sharing the road with street hawkers selling slaughtered chickens.
In retrospective, work life balance is critical for Africans wanting to succeed in business. Focusing on quality products and quality services will make your company stand out in the eyes of investors. The idea here is not to sacrifice all at the altar of making it in business.” The truth is that Africa is attractive because of its higher returns on lower risks.
CEO of Nigeria-based Sahara Group, Tonye Cole, noted that “Africa still seems to be the only place where you can make returns above 20%, or thereabouts, on projects”. As Mwangi explained in How we made it in Africa, “the business world is full of “sharks” who undercut and play unfairly. However, entrepreneurs should “never back down”.
In Africa, there are still many challenges faced by entrepreneurs and established businesses on the ground. Some people have suggested that Africans should go through the long path to development and modernization. Others have suggested that Africa must focus on leapfrogging with technology. In the mean time , by looking at the infographics below, you start to see why Africa is the last frontier for investment worldwide.
Another major trend worth noticing is that much of Africa’s growth is powered by things other than commodities. The Economist noted in their January 2015 issue that “one reason currencies have been robust may be because economic growth is starting to come from other places. Manufacturing output in the continent is expanding as quickly as the rest of the economy. Growth is even faster in services, which expanded at an average rate of 2.6% per person across Africa between 1996 and 2011. Tourism, in particular, has boomed: the number of foreign visitors doubled and receipts tripled between 2000 and 2012. Many countries, including Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique and Nigeria, have recently revised their estimates of GDP to account for their growing non-resource sectors.
Even though many people think that it is all about China, research proves that there is a greater willingness to open up to investors as well. According to Malick Badjie, director and head of Investment Solutions at Silk Invest, “just to put it in perspective, FDI influence in Africa was roughly around $5 billion 10 years ago and is expected to be closer to $50 billion in 2014. FDI investment has increased significantly.
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