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10 Business Sectors that Thrive in Africa

Updated on July 7, 2018

A Glimpse of Business Opportunities in Africa

Most African countries are far from reaching the state of developed countries. This gives Africa a certain advantage in the business world because certain commodities and services will be welcomed and embraced if they seem to contribute to the development of Africa. Although most countries in Africa have the potential to have exponential economic growth because they are endowed with natural resources, these resources mainly remain unexploited due to political factors, lack of funds and the unavailability of machinery. The African markets can be a great place to invest in because they embrace new things and are becoming more eager for innovation. Small businesses thrive in Africa although the large-scale entrepreneur can also find numerous opportunities to invest in. The investor may use the raw materials from African countries as the source of product for foreign markets or for the local market. Business ideas have been born, grown and thrived in Africa. There are many business areas in which an entrepreneur can capitalize in with high chances of success. This article discusses 10 lucrative business sectors in Africa are great opportunities for both foreign and local investors.

1. Agribusiness

Agribusiness is one of the most profitable business ventures that a business person can invest in, in Africa. The advantage of agribusiness is that it provides a necessary need, the need for food. It can also be expanded to a global scale where the products are exported to developed countries. Some agricultural products that are on demand from Africa include dairy products, tea, cocoa, coffee, flowers, fruits and many more. Therefore, if all factors are considered, including carrying out extensive market researches, a business in agriculture can thrive in most African countries. An Agribusiness Company may also provide farming machinery, seeds, fertilizers and other equipment needed for farming to local farmers.


2. Motor Vehicles and Transport Sector

Africa is a good market for second hand imported vehicles from first world countries in such as America, Japan, and Germany. Some African countries manufacture their own vehicles while others assemble imported vehicles. One example of a motor vehicle business empire which has tapped into the African market is the General Motors. They have several branches in many African countries including Egypt, South Africa, and East African countries. Motor vehicle assembly industries and motor vehicle companies have a good chance of succeeding in Africa because there are no cable cars, or electric trains these are very rare and most people rely on public vehicles or personal cars. Investing in the transport sector can involve having a chain of taxis, buses/ minibusses or vans to cater for public transportation.


3. Communications and Technology

Africa has rapidly embraced the new communication technology thus opening markets for companies which provide telecommunication services. For instance, phone service providers like Safaricom and Airtel have developed greatly in the recent years. The impact of Safaricom in Kenya has been surrounded by numerous innovations such as the first mobile money service known as, MPESA service. MPESA enables users to save, withdraw and send money using their mobile phones. Industries that manufacture or sell gadgets like phones, tablets, and computers are also likely to succeed in Africa. Entrepreneurs who want to venture into this sector need to be creative or have a creative workforce because technology is a fast-paced industry which needs constant inventions and reinventions.


4. Minerals and Mining

Most of Africa’s minerals still lie unexploited underground because the countries lack funds or appropriate equipment to support the continuation of mining activities. South Africa is well known for minerals like gold and diamond which have greatly contributed to the growth of the country’s economy. Nigeria and Libya have exploited their oil reserves and contributed to their economic growth by sustaining many people who work in the oil business industry. However, some countries have not yet reached their full potential for mining. A case in point is Kenya, whose gold and oil is not famous yet.

South African Mine


5. Infrastructure

Over the years African governments have focused on improving their infrastructure by constructing better and safer roads and bridges. Most of the machinery used including tractors, bulldozers are leased from developed countries like China. Some entrepreneurs have invested in construction work machines so that they can lease them to their local government when there is a need. There will always be a need for the construction or maintenance of infrastructure in most African countries.

Bulldozer | Source

6. Real Estate Buildings and Construction Industry

Africa is not exempted from architectural need given a majority of the countries are still developing. This means that urban centers are still growing, therefore the need for the construction of more buildings. There are opportunities for real estate investments or commercial buildings such as shopping malls which can be leased or rented to customers. Business organizations may also sell materials and equipment for building and construction such as cement, bricks, tools, lifts, tiles and so forth.

Building | Source

7. Entertainment and Creative Arts Sector

The entertainment scene of Africa, mainly the film and music industry, is generally still developing. Music for its part has been quite well established although some upcoming musicians have difficulty in finding producers that can make their music international. African creative art, paintings, literature can find a good market all over the world if only the artists could have good producers, promoters or publishers.

8. Tourism and Hospitality Sector

If there is anything that Africa is well known for, it is the potential for tourism. African countries have many attraction sites that are good touristic destinations. The tropical regions of East and Central Africa have an interesting climate that attracts tourists. A tour company business is ideal in such areas to cater to tourists' needs such as accommodation and travel within the country. Hotel and restaurant businesses are rampant and successful in areas that tourists frequently visit.

Serena Beach Resort Kenya
Serena Beach Resort Kenya | Source

9. Education Sector

Africa still has a need for improved literacy opportunities. Institutions such as private schools, colleges or universities can be very useful for Africans who cannot go abroad to study. The need for education will never end, especially in African countries. There is always an opportunity to invest in the education sector by supplying academic materials to African learning institutions or by building more institutions.

10. Consumer Goods

General goods for domestic or company use are always on demand. Furniture, stationery, food, electrical appliances, fashion products, textile products and many more goods are always sought by customers. The business person may decide to sell goods in retail stores, supermarkets or specialized stores for specific goods.

Supermarket | Source

© 2015 Centfie


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