3 Reasons Why You Should Invest In Africa

“We are enjoying in Africa what I call the democracy dividend. The progress we are seeing, economic development are all part of the dividend of good governance, respect for human rights, rule of law. It has created an enabling environment that allows not only foreigners to come in and invest but for Ghanaians to invest. It has created an atmosphere for our young people to be creative, innovative…” – President John Mahama, Ghana

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China used to be where the big money was – low cost workers and huge factories were plentiful. Now, with the Chinese downturn there are new reconsiderations for future investments. One of them is the prospect of Africa. If you have not seen all of the signals that this is the new continent to invest in, here they are.

  1. Africa is growing fast

The World Bank released a report that 6 of the 12 fastest growing countries in the entire world are located in Sub-Saharan Africa. Half of the world’s population growth will be in Africa.

Africa has sure had its fair share of problems from physical geography (landlocked countries will disease-susceptible tropical climates) to manmade challenges such as corruption. However, when you view Africa as a long-term investment, the combination of demography and development make Africa a promising buy.

  1. China is already in Africa

For the past decade, China’s investments in infrastructure like mines, farms, roads, ports and railways have been the big story. However, they have also invested in energy to increase Africa’s raw materials like food, oil, diamonds and uranium.

Now, Africa is both a partner and rival to Chinese manufacturing of clothes, toys and electronics. Yes, right now Africans have to wait and see how much they will be affected by China’s economic slowdown. Most of the attention is focused on low commodity prices and possibly damaging capital flight.

  1. Western countries are absent

In ways of both governmental aid and private investment, the United States and European countries have been pretty minimal. Right now, western governments are cash strapped and have turned from public sector aid to more private sector investment as their global developmental strategy. However, this has not been working out well because the private sector is often deterred by the high risks involved in investing in Africa.

So, when you put these three factors altogether, it does look like the perfect time for American businesses to consider Africa for long-term growth possibilities. In the next 100 years, the consuming middle class African will be a huge driver of economic activity.

In major cities in big countries, the middle class demand is already very real. With better infrastructure, more efficiency, less corruption and more urbanization, investing in Africa will become the new source of wealth.

What Industries are Ready for Disruption?

Businessman and business sketch

A successful entrepreneur tackles problems in industries before they are even realized by the consumers. It is the world’s biggest problems that are the biggest business opportunities. All it takes is innovative thought and determination. So entrepreneurs, this is my helpful list for where I think we need your expertise very soon.

Retail Shopping

I think that the entire retail shopping experience is due for a makeover. With total sales in the United States reaching $2.5 trillion and worldwide, $20 trillion – there is opportunity and money. This is how I see the future of retail shopping: We won’t need to drive to a store, ever. I think that physical stores will go away. Amazon has already done this to bookstores – that is just the beginning. I think that body scanners will develop and you will have a data file of your measurements – you can even have your exact measurements the day that you order. Envisioning this with a sort of virtual goggles, we will have our own private stores that consist of every brand, every designer in the world. You can invite your friends in on your shopping experience. You just say what you want and racks of what you want instantly appear. You want to try something on? A virtual avatar of yourself will appear with it on so that you never have to bother getting undressed or re-dressed again. When you have what you want and pay, a local robot manufacturer will deliver your items the same day. Since there are now no retailer stores, the cost at least half of what they do today.

Education

Doesn’t the teacher in front of a classroom seem old and antique to you? Let’s take a further look at the current school system. Primary education systems force kids to memorize information for standardized tests. University costs have skyrocketed – equal to buying a house. Education in general is trying to teach to a median, which leaves half of the students, bored and the other half, lost. If a virtual environment was created that allowed students to see a dinosaur up close, build structures, stand next to Benjamin Franklin as he discovered electricity, don’t you think students could obtain more? There are a handful of start ups that are working on artificial intelligence and virtual reality so that a teacher can deliver a personalized lesson for a student based on their pace and even language. I think that as software becomes more freely available in our world, children in rural Ghana will have access to the same resources as students at MIT or Harvard.

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Consumer Electronics

Nowadays, screens are everywhere. We look at TVs, watches, tablets, and phones all day long. However, displays are fragile and really expensive. The display market, dominated by Apple, LG, Sumsung and Sony is projected togo over $155 billion by 2020. Magic Leap and other companies are starting to produce reality platforms that render screens useless. That’s right, my above ideas on education and retail will become true. Soon, you will put on a pair of fashionable glasses that paint with light an image onto the back of your retina. This concept, mixing reality with computer generated is called Augmented Reality. With this, everything becomes a screen – you can even check your email on the palm of your hand. Imagine what else you could do.

These are just some ideas that I have developed upon seeing different innovations lately. I am, as I’m sure that you are as well, eager to see where not only this new technology takes us, but where other sectors will go.