Africa, long acknowledged as the cradle of civilization, the birthplace of man.

Today, Africa is emerging as a legitimate economic force, as well.  While much of the world moves forward with a certain degree of sluggishness, some emerging economies like those of some African nations are seeing recent GDP growth. Count a recently booming Libya, Equatorial Guinea, Seychelles, Gabon, and Botswana among them.  A consumer boom is also occurring in several African markets.

Growth and Development

It wasn’t always so. The ‘80’s were considered Africa’s economic ‘lost decade,’ and it wasn’t until the mid-‘90’s that things began to turn around. In the ensuing years, economic advancement in sub-Saharan Africa has been consistent and impressive.

While predictions of the degree to which these favorable winds may continue to shift, many believe that Africa’s economic outlook will continue to be on the rise in coming years.

Market Opportunities in Africa

The differing data gathering techniques and methodologies employed by these various research institutions lead to conflicting statistics. After all, there is much to analyze and consider. Oil and commodity prices, global economic growth, changing geopolitical landscapes, and other intangible considerations all account for disparities when predicting Africa’s economic outlook.

As for broad indicators of potential growth, both industrial and agricultural output has continued to grow in Africa. Europe and the U.S. have increasingly turned to Africa for manufactured products, stimulating a recent uptick in the export of non-oil commodities. Poor weather can affect agricultural good-fortune and increases in fuel costs can negatively impact any oil-importing nations.

All things considered, the economic outlook for Africa has been positive in recent years, due to an increased market demand for African mineral exports and metals. In addition, Africa’s economic prospects have been brightened by what most consider to be astute economic and political reforms.  Countries such as China and the United States are increasingly looking for partnerships on the continent.

Market Challenges

Nations that have stabilized political and economic activities may likely stand to benefit most from outside aid and international investment opportunities. Poverty continues to be a persistent and serious problem in Africa, something that could be at least partially abated by long-term financial growth. Much depends, too, on the fortunes of the Euro-Zone, where roughly half of Africa’s exports are bound.

Advantages and Exports

Despite real human hardship and formidable obstacles, there has been optimism in the air. Some point to the continent’s bountiful natural resources, ascending middle class, and young population as indicators of future world emergence.

Such growth is not occurring without risk. Africa’s aforementioned dependence on the Euro-Zone as a destination for it’s exported goods will make it somewhat vulnerable in the short-term, and its chronic problem of poverty must be continually addressed.

Longterm Strategic Opportunities

The relatively recent upturn in Africa’s economic fortune points the way toward a more prosperous tomorrow, and a continent that is increasingly showing influence in the global economy.

About SIS Market Research in Africa

SIS International Market Research helps companies to better understand and navigate the complex and compelling business landscape in Africa.