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The world wakes up to Africa's opportunities

Read on to discover why the African continent - home to various countries and some of the world’s foremost industries - is one to watch, as you put together your global expansion roadmap.

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Innovative economies

Africa has long been home to some of the world’s foremost innovations. In the 1960s, many African countries gained independence from colonial forces. Amid this, the governments of these countries invested in manufacturing, to grow their economies – developing profitable software and electronics industries.

Around this time, Tanzania, Zambia, and Nigeria started implementing the import substitution industry – an economic policy, prioritising the manufacturing of goods domestically over importing. Countries such as Ghana and Madagascar followed suit, and the policy became widely implemented across the continent until the 1980s; serving to develop and bolster the infrastructure of the African manufacturing sector.

Leading businesses

According to Forbes, the World Economic Forum (WEF) highlighted six African start-ups - companies that are shaping industries in healthcare and retail, among other fields - in its 2022 Technology Pioneers list. This is just one of many indicators that the Western world is waking up to the wealth of opportunity that Africa has to offer.

Forbes also notes that private capital fundraising in Africa broke records in 2021, raising 4.4 billion USD. West Africa has become something of a venture capital (VC) hub, with 23% of VC investments in 2021 going to Nigeria. The Financial Times notes that VC firms have raised 655 million USD for Africa’s tech industry since November 2023.

For example, VC fund TLcom Capital, which has been backing high profile start-ups in east and west Africa for the past seven years, has completed a 154 million USD raise for the past two years.

With the UN predicting Africa’s population to quadruple between 2015 and 2100, reaching 4.39 billion, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) notes that, “the continent is emerging as a magnet for consumer markets and products.”

Industries across Africa are highly developed, booming, and ripe with opportunity for investment. In fact, Africa is now even said to have its own Silicone Valley in Rwanda.

Silicone Valley comes to Africa

Kigali Innovation City (KIC), a project supported by the Government of Rwanda and Africa50, and located in the capital city of Kigali, aims to work together with private investors to secure Rwanda’s position as Africa’s Silicone Valley.

KIC is home to thriving start-ups, financial investors, and is a breeding ground of ideas. According to its website, KIC is “developing a 61.9-hectare mixed-use development that integrates universities, offices, residential housing, retail facilities, and a hotel in a smart and environmentally-conscious manner.”

The government’s aim of digitising the Rwandan economy has motivated investment in KIC. Despite being small in comparison to many African nations, Rwanda is home to many successful tech companies such as Zipline, Tutornia, and Otterz. The country’s small size is also seen as attractive to start-up entrepreneurs, who see the smaller competitor pool as a benefit.

Meanwhile, Zanzibar is also making a push for the title of Africa’s Silicone Valley, with the government implementing numerous incentives in the hopes of attracting Pan-African tech companies.

Easing of visa restrictions for tech workers is making it easy for tech professionals to work in the country, while companies based in the Zanzibar Free Economic Zone can avail of attractive incentives such as a decade-long corporate tax exemption.

Green technology leads the way

Africa’s sun, wind, and other natural resources make it a valuable source of renewable energy. Numerous solar power and wind farming projects are underway, to help support a move towards sustainability while also providing power to underserviced regions and reducing dependence on fossil fuels.

There is a significant push towards protecting Africa’s natural resources and ecosystems, such as innovative waste management systems and drone technology used in anti-poaching efforts.

Technology is also supporting the agricultural sector, by overhauling farming practices, helping with sustainable irrigation, and waste disposal.

Interested in expanding into Africa?

For companies seeking to expand into Africa, the possibilities are endless. If you’re interested in the opportunities that Africa has to offer, take a look at our website, and see all of the African nations in which Mauve offer solutions.

Chat to our team today, to explore the best route for you!