Africa – The World’s Rising Economic Powerhouse

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July 10, 2019//-Employment opportunities across the African continent are sometimes limited. Many countries on the continent are still developing which means that, infrastructurally, they’re fighting a daily battle.

This is unfortunate for the formal employment sector, but it has led to a booming entrepreneurial spirit on the continent.

We’ve Got the Entrepreneurial Spirit in Spades

Many African countries struggle with poverty. Some are rich in resources, but very little of that wealth trickles down to the people on the ground. In other cases, the countries are simply too poor to be able to develop a first-world infrastructure.

In fact, according to the latest Global Entrepreneurship Monitor Report, Angola rates as the country with the highest level of early-stage entrepreneurial activity in the world.

41% of Angolans run their start their own business. Considering that Angola is also rated a low-income country, this is doubly impressive.

Unfortunately, the failure rate is also high. That’s in keeping with the averages globally. Around 20% of new businesses fail in the first year.

It’s hardly surprising that Africans are out there making a name for themselves. Perhaps it’s because we like to be our own bosses, or perhaps it’s out of necessity. Whatever the case may be, the entrepreneurial drive is strong here.

We’re Tech-Savvy

According to IOL, investments in tech start-ups hit the billion dollar mark in late 2018. Our tech start-ups are set to give Silicon Valley a run for its money.

The international investment community is standing up and taking notice. And it looks like rhinos aren’t the only rare horned beasts on the continent.

Aerobotics, a tech-start-up in the AI field, is on the road to becoming an African unicorn. The company looks set to perform exceptionally well.

While it might seem unusual for a developing country to be able to compete with the world’s tech giants, on further thought it makes sense. Most people on the African continent have limited access to tech.

It’s not that we’re living in the dark ages—we’ve got all the basics. But it can be harder to come by more advanced tech. There’s not much call for an Apple watch, for example, when there’s no reliable source of internet connectivity.

Logistically speaking, it can also be difficult to get all that tech through to the end-user. If a way can be found, it’s bound to be quite expensive. This might actually be an advantage for us in some ways. After all, it means that we need to get quite creative.

And who’s to say that the next Apple or Google has to come from Silicon Valley? It could well be in our own backyard.

Challenges Facing Start-ups

Naturally, there are challenges that need to be addressed on any continent. In Africa, the primary challenges are:

  • Lack of infrastructure: This is not as much of an issue in the bigger towns. As you start to move out into the rural areas, though, infrastructure such as roads and banks become few and far between.
  • Government regulations: While most governments do have active programs to support new businesses, they often have serious red tape that gets in the way.
  • Lack of skills: Financial skills training is still lacking, especially in the more rural areas of the continent.
  • Lack of access to global markets: Internet access has improved significantly, but it can still be difficult to access global markets. PayPal payments, for example, are an easy way to facilitate cross-border transfers. They are unfortunately not available everywhere on the continent.
  • Cash is King in many areas: A cashless society is not always workable here. For starters, accessing banks can be problematic in more rural areas. Secondly, fees for running a banking account can prove too expensive for some. Now, while this is not a problem for local purchases, it does become problematic if you want to start selling goods to a wider market.

Final Notes

Watch out world, Africa’s coming for you. We’ve proven that we have the guts and gumption to make a real difference in the world of business. Business is in our blood, and we’re ready to stand front and center on the world stage.

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