How wonderful would it be if Africans understood the potential of their continent, and explored all the avenues of growth readily available?
The number of people who have academic degrees in Africa is simply on a steady rise. However, the continent continues to be a net importer for basic commodities like food, apparel and even construction material.
If Africa has a competitive advantage to produce and consume “made in Africa”, why isn’t this being exploited?
What is an emerging economy?
More so, an emerging economy is likely to become a developed market in the future if the growth trend is nurtured and maintained.
Young Africans must understand that the future of the African continent is very bright. Perhaps this understanding will reduce the chaotic migration of young Africans across the deserts and seas, in search of greener pastures. Moreover, grass on the other side isn’t always greener.
Instead, young Africans ought to be preparing to ride the growth wave heading towards the shores of the African continent. Find out the best tips on how to start and grow your small business in Africa.
Taking advantage of Africa’s growth
Firstly, it is strongly recommended that young Africans start developing the right entrepreneurial skills. Not only will this give them the right skillsets for today’s economic environment, but it will also equally prepare them to become employers rather than aiming to be employees. Additionally, the more businesses there are, the better the employment statistics, the standard of living, and economic viability
Secondly, Africans need to have a vision about the future and remain alert, because it would be a shame if some young people ended up having regrets like those who missed investing $0.08 into Bitcoin in 2010. At the time of writing this article, bitcoin is worth nearly $63,000, just 10 years later. Imagine that you only had 10, 20 or 30 bitcoins at $0.08 for 1?
These are real macro fundamental trends that are emerging and must be looked at and taken advantage of.
What you should be doing.
The African continent remains a fertile ground for most agricultural products, yet the continent is a net importer of food, especially grains.
Young Africans simply don’t see agriculture as a fashionable profession, which in effect has led to the mass exodus of young people from rural to urban areas. We all know the city is known for white-collar jobs and not farming.
The question therefore is; if everyone capable of farming lives in the cities, scrambling for the limited number of white-collar jobs, how then is the country being fed? Prices are also constantly on the rise as demand far exceeds supply.
A country that doesn’t export its produce will be left with no choice but to import other people’s products to survive.
Below are a few untapped yet lucrative ventures for Africans to look into;
1.Expanding the production of poultry.
The best way to succeed in poultry farming is by mastering the entire supply chain. This stems from farming the different components of the feed, transforming it and transporting it to where the chicks are raised. Did you know that the cost of feed often accounts for at least 70% of the cost of the chicken sold on our markets?
Take a simple example of the poultry market in Cameroon.
The Loss of 6,280,000 in feed mentioned above can be mitigated by taking control of the entire value chain, of which the corning milling machine worth 3 million CFA is imperative.
To know what the costs are in your country or region, it is best to speak to those who have the experience and knowledge about this.
Chicken is always in demand by individuals, restaurants, party organisers, and for all festive seasons. According to research, there’s always a shortage of chicken for Christmas holiday celebrations, which leads to imports from China and other countries to meet local demand. Anyone who knows this and is ready to act could simply make a lot of cash.
2. Running Vocational centers.
There is a huge gap between the theory taught to kids in school and the reality on the ground. African youths need more hands-on training for the skills that are immediately needed by employers or self-employed people. Nowadays, employers would rather employ a candidate based on what they can do, not the diploma they have. More African entrepreneurs can follow the footstep of the investment firm Investisseurs & Partenaires in Côte d’Ivoire. Their business model leverages technology ( online platforms) to train people on a large scale, whilst providing in-person learning too. There’s a need for vocational centres in tailoring, customer service, marketing and much more.
3. Processing Essential Oils
Some countries in East Africa like Kenya and Uganda, plant flowers mainly for export to Europe. These flowers are then processed into essential oils which are in return shipped back to Africa at much higher prices. According to Mrs Nsimenta, CEO of a natural cosmetic line, Africa ought to go the extra mile to extract the oils from the flowers already grown on the continent. In Uganda, a small bunch of lavender is sold for $4, yet a 20ml of imported lavender essential oil sells for $40. Essential oils are used across a variety of products like beverages, hair and skin products, scented candles, perfumes and much more. This leaves a massive business potential for essential oils in Africa.
4. Nursing Homes for the elderly.
This may sound unconventional for a place like Africa, where the family unit is more or less a communist one. However, looking at the massive exodus of young people to Europe and America, there’s a need to wonder what will happen to parents and grandparents left behind when they are too frail to look after themselves. Relatives in the Diaspora will be more than happy to pay for private and specialist care for their elderly back in Africa. In countries like Ghana, Nigeria, Ethiopia and Rwanda where there’s a rising middle-class population and an upgraded living standard, paying for a service like this would not be too expensive for diasporans.
5. Producing Local Branding and packing materials
The World is currently going through a crisis. That which recently brought world leaders together at the COP-26 in Glassgow, with a common agenda to save our planet. There’s a need to reduce the carbon footprint on the planet to tackle global warming. According to Mckinsey, a net-zero transition will require $150 trillion of capital spending, two-thirds of it in developing economies. The plan is to deploy enough money to markets and businesses that focus on decarbonisation and adaptation. Think of what that means for African entrepreneurs! Instead of importing packaging materials from abroad, a smart African entrepreneur can capitalize on the ongoing hype for carbon credits and green bonds, and work towards securing some of the readily available funds for such plausible projects.
According to Investopedia, the sum of over $155 billion worth of green bonds were issued in 2019. A green bond is a fixed-income instrument designed specifically to support specific climate-related or environmental projects. Both global and African financial institutions are keen to finance value-added projects that align with the Net Zero Agenda.
6. Export African Delicacies to the USA
Did you know about the “African Growth and Opportunity Act(AGOA)”, which was signed between the USA and sub-Saharan Africa to the exportation of over 1800 products to the USA, duty-free? You are welcome to read more on The AGOA here.
According to the head of the West Africa Trade and Investment Hub, there’s a big opportunity for money to be made if African entrepreneurs would focus on stuff like dried fruits, fruit jams, and sugar-free chocolate. Furthermore, he specifically noted that the market for canned catfish is very much untapped due to few American companies producing this product which has high demand from West Africans living in the US.
In the The Emerging Markets of Africa (africa-business.com) report, the global economic meltdown has highlighted Africa’s status as the next big market poised for unprecedented growth in the the coming years…