The Progress of Business Prospects in Africa

Africa’s natural resources and business opportunities abound for companies seeking to share in Africa’s rapidly growing markets, creating substantial new business prospects which multinational companies are benefitting. The writer reviews the prospects of the continent’s resources which are rapidly improving the economy, banking and agriculture infrastructure.

Many advanced countries underestimate the challenge of developmental in Africa but the economy is rapidly improving through power generation and distribution, transportation, telecommunications, agribusiness, oil and gas, financial services, healthcare and housing, which have attracted local and foreign investments, even though corruption is still rampant in many parts of the continent.

Africa’s economic growth rapidly accelerated with 27 of its 30 largest economies expanding more rapidly after 2000, with the poorest witnessing significant increases in real consumption. Steady progress has also been made in education, health, sanitation, and in empowering women. However, Africa faces many daunting challenges; for example, the need to tackle poverty, low agricultural productivity and climate change, yet Africa is determined to reduce these threatening problems through agricultural investment, which would also eliminate hunger threat.

Africa Global Business Forum 2013: Photo credit-Africa Business Forum

In the 6th Africa Agriculture Science Week (AASW) on July 20, 2013, the program brought together over 1000 researchers, policy makers and development professionals from across the continent to discuss scientific advances and progress toward African food security goals. In Accra, Ghana, the participants addressed: education and human resources; innovation to improve productivity; moving from competition to collaboration; and innovative financing and in agricultural research and development.

The impact of investing in agriculture is potentially transformative, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, employing nearly two-thirds of the population and accounting for an average one-third of GDP. One of the opportunities of investment in agriculture can help producers and farmers in the developing world to earn their way out of poverty, increase exports, and provide communities and families with sustainable employment and incomes.

There had been fluctuations in Africa’s banking system in the past, but improved operating conditions in the past years have had a positive impact on the banking sector’s performance. Can Africa’s development ever rapidly be like Asia, with China particularly in mind? Three decades ago Chinese leaders unleashed a series of economic reforms that helped lift millions of people out of poverty and transform the Asian country into an industrial powerhouse with a mighty foreign reserve arsenal. What can Africa learn from China?

China has increasingly become an important economic player in Africa, with investments spanning across many sectors. China’s trade with Africa has improved and grown steadily with heavy investment totaling 1.5 billion dollars in Africa. For example, Huawei, a Chinese company’s trade with Africa has also grown steadily during the past decade reaching 160 billion dollars in 2011 from just 9 billion dollars in 2000. China’s share in Africa’s total trade has been phenomenal, rising to 13% from 3% a decade ago.  It is believed the growth in China’s interest in Africa, which has been inspired by Africa’s natural resources, would gradually transform Africa in both economic and development growth.

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