Africa is many things: a “cradle” for humanity, the youngest continent, the most alive and multifaceted area in the world - you name it, Africa can find anything on its soil. And as recent developments suggest, the continent has one of the biggest rising industries in the world right now.are
The investors all around the world are looking for pockets and niches where their money can flourish and produce as much profit as possible. And since the developed countries’ industries are already pretty crowded and oversaturated, they need to find new places with vast investment opportunities.
And Africa is exactly what they’re looking for. The continent has the youngest population, meaning the workforce is the strongest of all; there aren’t many companies that can potentially pick up a financial fight with the newcomers, making the environment rather competition-free; and people, in general, are craving for better opportunities and options. All of those factors can be incorporated into one single conclusion: Africa is the next best destination for future investments.
Now, not to sound overly vague and unclear, here are three most vivacious industries with a lot of return potential:
The world of finances is saturated with technological advancements. There’s even a specific term for that - Fintech (Financial Technologies). Fintech includes some of the most recent systems and platforms such as blockchain, cryptocurrencies, eCommerce, and many more.
Since they were a creation of the developed world, blockchain and cryptocurrencies were first adopted in those countries and their industries, starting from a Bitcoin-powered real money casino all the way to blockchain production chains of Nestle. From there, this new technology started to spill over to other countries and continents as well, including Africa.
When it comes to blockchain, this new ledger system proves to be the most beneficial to the continent. According to various sources, almost 2 billion people around the world don’t have access to bank accounts and the majority of them reside in Africa. Banks are either too far from them, or they don’t have sufficient documentation or any other reason - the point is, the conventional banks don’t provide service to those customers.
While with cryptocurrencies and blockchain, there’s no need for any of that. Just the internet devices and a bare national ID will be enough to open a full-fledged crypto wallet that can do anything conventional bank accounts do, and even more.
For those and other reasons, the African countries are already jumping on this Fintech opportunity. But there are more industries in this specific area. For example, there’s a text messaging system called SokoniSMS64 which provides farmers with regular updates about market prices and other indicators. With this tool, African farmers can better adjust their production output and profit. Such a rate of development makes the finance industry in Africa ripe for further investment and growth.
2. Online shopping
We all know and love online retail stores like Amazon, eBay, Alibaba, etc. however, you may not know that Africans don’t have much access to those platforms due to many issues - be it internet connection failures, no cellular coverage, or even the absence of cellular devices.
Even the local retail and wholesale departments that are slowly emerging on the market have a hard time finding their niche and acquiring a consumer base. The concept of online shopping is still pretty new for Africans.
This, in turn, poses a lucrative opportunity for foreign investors all around the world. As we mentioned earlier, the absence of competition and the eagerness from the population make for a perfect combination to establish a retail department in Africa. On the plus side, countries like Kenya are already prepared to receive this industry given the high rates of smartphone ownership and internet penetration in its population.
3. Public transport
Public transportation might be a highly modernized system in many developed or even developing countries, however, in Africa, public transport is still in its crude state. In the majority of African countries, the public buses are old and rusty, deprived of any sanitation; we’re not even talking about subway which is considered a luxury and only two cities, Algeria and Cairo have it.
So, no further proof is needed for the acute state of the African transportation system. And the continent is in a dire need of a sophisticated transport coverage due to rapid urbanization rates everywhere across Africa.
This poses a great opportunity for foreign investors. The African governments are already considering ways to modernize their public transportation systems and in their attempts, foreign investments will definitely be necessary.
One of the most innovative and hi-tech methods of improving a public transportation system is related to smart cities. The smart city is obviously a city that is covered in thousands of wireless transmitters all around the urban area. Traffic lights, roads, sewer systems, public areas, buses, etc. are all connected to one another using a network called the Internet of Things (IoT). The automated system then collects data from all those systems all at the same time and provides useful data about how city life is doing.
This can be a great opportunity for investors. They can be pioneers in convincing the African governments to modernize their cities using IoT. If and when they’re successful, they can then import all the necessary tools and technology that can facilitate the transformation to a “smarter” environment.
Promising African industries
Africa has a lot of potential for existing and future investors all around the world. Since the continent has an abundance of resources, both human and natural, it can be successfully used by foreign investors to kick start their careers here and help the continent improve itself.
Some of the most crucial industries that promise lucrative investment opportunities are the African Fintech, online shopping, and public transportation industries. However, there are other areas such as health care which is already supported on mobile devices in Kenya - including sending diagnosis, treatment options, and receipts over the phone, internet and communication technologies with a vast base of human resources - both intellectual and labor, and many more that are also worthy of attention.