Africa constitutes less than a meagre 7% of the total global GDP according to the IMF in one of its recent reports. This is the smallest of all the existing continents and it’s such a paradox for a continent that is home to the second largest population of all the existing continents, constituting such a huge market, richest in natural resource and blessed with enormous teeming youth, which is a plus for human capital. But the story of Africa is now changing, the reset button has been pressed and massive transformations are taking place across the entire continent and results are showing up. African governments are opening up their economies for Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs), infrastructure is being put in place across the continent, several of which are in partnerships with the private sector (local & foreign) and human capital development is witnessing a boost with assistance from International Development Agencies (IDA) partnering with governments.
Africa is now being progressively viewed as a formidable force on the global scene, one which Brett Rowley of TCW in Los Angeles referred to as, “the final frontier among emerging markets”.
At the recently held 2017 World Economic Forum in Durban, delegates were of the opinion that for Africa to achieve her potentials, intra Africa Trade is key. A confirmation of the thought behind the African Union Agenda 2063, which aims to promote intra-Africa trade from less than 12% in 2013 to approaching 50% by 2045. Even with the fact that intra-regional trade grew at an average annual rate of 13% between the year 2000 and 2014, from $30 billion to $178 billion, more trade is actually being done by African countries with the rest of the world, this constitutes about 85% of their total trade. A lot more needs to be done in addressing this challenge and this cannot be left to African governments alone. African governments need to liberalize more and form formidable partnerships with those in the private sector. In cases where the government wants to be the only regulating authority, partnerships should be encouraged between players in the private sector while creating the proper business operating environment for such partnerships to grow and operate successfully.
There are also lots of opportunities waiting and begging to be exploited across the continent of Africa by African businesses and businesses outside Africa. Some have ready-made markets with huge trade potentials and investment opportunities. Africa needs to rise and fulfil her potentials with enviable partnerships using what she is endowed with. For a continent with a fast-rising middle class and one which is projected to have a consumer spending that will be about $1.4 trillion by the year 2020, the time is now to invest in Africa. The journey could really be easier than expected if businesses within and outside the shore of Africa involve the right partnership.
AfriMarket Partners is a formidable trade and investment partner with a diverse and in-depth understanding of the African business operating space, driven by the vision of exploring, facilitating and harnessing mutually beneficial business partnerships between businesses within Africa and with the rest of the world. AfriMarket Partners operates with both the private and public sectors.