Top 10 Businesses to invest in Africa

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Africa is currently the greenest pasture for business and investments worldwide. Many entrepreneurs and investors have become millionaires in few years by tapping into the numerous opportunities Africa offers.

Africa in recent years has experienced positive changes in economic, political and social policies which have made investments more attractive. There has also been a corresponding increase in infrastructural development and human capital.

Many business men world over are interested in investing in Africa but are hindered due to inadequate information about the most viable businesses to set up in Africa. This article seeks to give some vital information to help such persons and enlighten others.

AGRICULTURE

Agriculture is probably the most lucrative business one can venture into as the sector is highly untapped. The World Bank estimates that by 2030, the Agriculture industry in Africa will be worth over 1 trillion US Dollars. Sub-Saharan Africa has about 60 percent of the total uncultivated fertile land in the world and also has surplus of labour to till the soil.

Africa has not reached even quarter of its capacity in food production as individuals and governments in Africa have not invested massively in the sector. Investors who key into this awesome opportunity will definitely be smiling to the bank in years to come.

With up to 60 percent of the world’s uncultivated arable land, fertile soils, abundant labour, and all-year sunshine, sub-Saharan Africa surely has the potential to become the world’s biggest exporter of food products. Governments of many African nations have started offering nice incentives to investors in the Agricultural sector.

SOLAR POWER GENERATION

Most African countries suffer from inadequate electricity supply with some countries having an average electricity supply of less than two hours daily hence the African electricity industry is a big market to invest in and make good returns. Africa is rich in solar energy with most parts of Africa having over 300 sunny days in a year hence solar power generation Is a very viable business and it is also very welcome as the world continues to make efforts towards green environmental friendly energy.

Currently, there are not many investors and major players in Africa’s solar power industry, the few Africans who have ventured into it either lack the required expertise or have limited capital. Some popular solar power generation companies in Africa include; Off Grid Electric based in Tanzania and has raised over 30 million US dollars in funding and  M-KOPA, a Kenyan company with over 40 million US dollars funding.

MOBILE PHONES

As an African living in Africa, I can boldly tell you that the smartphone industry in Africa seriously booming. Several formerly unknown names such as Tecno, Infinix, Gionee, etc in the mobile phone industry have made huge profits manufacturing and selling cheap phones in Africa.

Most Africans are now tech-savvy and hence want smartphones with top features and functionality such as good cameras, high speed internet and more, however the standard of living in Africa is lower than in more advanced countries like the US and England therefore top mobile phones such as Samsung, iPhone, Sony, etc have too hefty price tags which an average African cannot afford. This makes Africans patronize smartphones from lesser known companies with similar features to those from top rated companies but sold at cheaper prices.

The African mobile smartphone market is not yet saturated and canbe explored by interested entrepreneurs.

BROADBAND INTERNET

Africa’s internet usage has advanced in geometrical progression over the past few years as more and more Africans have access to internet-enabled phones and computers due to a better standard of living. Even Google and Facebook have seen this and are making huge efforts to improve internet connectivity in Africa and in turn increase their revenues from Africa.

Africans like the rest of the world are suckers for high speed internet at low prices. Most Internet Service Providers in Africa are multinational telecommunication companies and there are also a few local Internet service providers.

Investors who will make huge profits in this sector of the African economy are those who can provide very fast internet speeds at relatively low prices.

MOBILE APPS AND GAMES

Earlier in this post, I talked about smartphones and broadband internet as good African businesses to invest in, when you combine those two together, you have mobile applications and games. As more and more Africans buy smartphones and get access to the interner daily, there is a corresponding increase in the demand for mobile apps and games.

Africans need apps to perform functions for them and they are also avid mobile game players like people in the rest of the world. In the past, Africans were unable to buy apps and games online but most African banks now offer Mastercard and Visacard online payment services and many other mobile payment gateways have sprung up. The adoption and use of these online payment services is still in the early stages and is bound to skyrocket in the future leading to the ability of many Africans to purchase games and apps.  This is the time to key in to this sector and smile in the future.

PAYMENT SOLUTIONS

Mark Zuckerberg was in Kenya just a week ago and one of the things he did while there was learn how their mobile payment system works. The Africa financial industry is a large one which has not yet keyed fully into financial technologies.

Several African countries are championing online and mobile payments and this has given rise to quite a number of mobile payment companies, some popular African mobile payment companies include M-Pesa, which is extremely popular in Kenya and Tanzania with over 200 million transactions yearly, Paga; The top Nigerian mobile payments company with over 15 million dollars in funding.

There is still so much to be done in this very profitable sector in Africa.

RETAIL

One thing Africans like most is shopping and as their standard of living keeps improving so do their shopping carts. There are currently a number of top supermarket brands in Africa such as Spar, Shoprite, Woolworths, etc but majority of the African retail market is vastly untapped.

As commerce has gone online worldwide, Africa is not left out as several ecommerce platforms have emerged in the past few years notable among which are Jumia, Konga and Mall for Africa.

REAL ESTATE DEVELOPMENT

Real Estate in Africa is currently booming as more Africans can now afford nice homes due to an increased standard of living. Real estate developers and agents in Africa are constantly smiling to the bank as properties are been rented, leased and sold for very profitable prices.

More hotels, shopping malls and office buildings are been constructed in Africa now than ever before and the top countries where this is most profitable are South Africa, Nigeria, Angola and Kenya.

AFRICAN ART WORKS

African art is currently selling worldwide like hotcake. An antique African art collection was sold at Sotheby’s, New York for a whooping 41 million US dollars in 2014, many other African paintings and sculptures have been sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars

People have started appreciating the value of African art and its price can only keep going up.

STARTUP FUNDING

Many wise foreign Investors have made millions of dollars buying into African startups, for example Rocket Internet Group bought Africa’s foremost ecommerce website, Jumia in 2013 and The Chan-Zuckerberg foundation just recently invested 24 million dollars in Andela, an African academy for teaching young Africans programming.

As at 2015 over 500 million dollars had been invested in African startups and analysts predict that this number will keep increasing astronomically.

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