On 12 and 13 June, Chancellor Angela Merkel welcomed in Berlin a dozen African leaders and actors from the economic world, for the Conference "Partnership G20 Africa, investing in a future in common". The goal? Encourage investment on the African continent.
Among them were the leaders of Ghana, Ethiopia, Niger, Egypt and Mali.
Although the German development minister announced 300 million euros in aid to African countries, Merkel's idea is not to put in place an aid plan, but rather to make African countries more attractive to investment through the support of G20 countries.
Merkel's appeal for Africa is not without ulterior motives. His idea is mainly to improve the political and economic situation of these countries, in order to put an end to the migratory crisis that is currently taking place in Europe. Africa is indeed the main place of origin for these migrants.
"If there is too much despair in Africa, then inevitably the young people will say that they are going to look for a new life elsewhere," said the German chancellor.
Merkel is therefore advocating for more investment to accelerate growth in Africa and to promote full employment.
The German chancellor put the question of investment in Africa on the front of the stage. Although this has been done less for the potential of Africa than for stability and security in Europe, there are many factors that make Africa an attractive continent for investors.
According to a World Bank forum, Africa has become the preferred destination for investors. The continent has attracted a record amount of foreign direct investment of 60 billion million in recent years, which is 5 times more than in 2000.
The reasons for this craze are numerous: its population of more than one billion inhabitants, its emerging middle class, its financial services and the growing manufacturing industry...
Africa could in the future replace Asia in its role as the world's factory. The costs in Asia are increasing and some Chinese factories are even starting to relocate to African countries, like the Huajian plant installed since 2012 in Ethiopia.
More generally, there are 5 promising areas for foreign investors in Africa:
1. Solar energy
It is one of the most abundant natural resources in Africa and more than 600 million people on the mainland do not have access to reliable electricity. There are therefore immense opportunities in this area, particularly with the construction of mini-networks sized to one or more villages, more adapted to the needs of the continent.
2. Mobile telephony
Africa is the second fastest growing market for mobile phones after Asia. There are more and more users, and low-cost smartphones have made their appearance easier to access telephony to a population for whom iphones, or other high-end smartphones remain unaffordable.
3g coverage is also booming and many jobs are created in this area: 1.3 million people have been hired by operators and the mobile phone ecosystem across Africa in 2015.
3. Payment Solutions
Due to the lack of banking infrastructure in some African countries (no agency outside the major cities...), the transfer of money on mobile is rapidly developing. M-Pesa, the mobile phone payment system developed by Vodafone manages more than 200 million transactions each year. In Nigeria, the Paga company raised 13 million euros, illustrating how promising this market is. In France, Orange also seized the opportunity by creating orange money, its money transfer service in Africa.
4. Retail Trade
Africa is now experiencing a very strong growth in retail trade. This is due in particular to the development of the middle class and thus the increase of the purchasing power.
There are more and more malls on the continent, all bigger than the other: the Mall of Africa in South Africa, the Two Rivers Mall in Kenya (the largest shopping centre in East Africa) are examples of many other . Online commerce is also growing rapidly: Kombia and Jumia, two African e-commerce sites are worth more than $1 billion today.
5. Financial Services
The development of new technologies and the Internet on the continent and the arrival of low-priced smartphones in Africa have enabled the continent to innovate in terms of new inclusive financial services. In Kenya, the rate of bankarisation has risen by 58% since 2007, year of launch of Pesa
"In a continent where 80% of the 330 million adults in Africa do not have a bank account, while 80% of the African population has a mobile phone (995 million people), it is undeniable that the development of financial services in Africa will be achieved through new technologies, particularly mobile. Moreover, more than 50% of the world's mobile money services already operate in Africa. African fintechs therefore have a virgin and fertile ground to develop rapidly." Thameur Hemdane , Founder of Afrikwity
The prospects for the investment market in Africa are positive. International Investment Fund investments in unlisted African SMEs are advancing and Africa is becoming a preferred investment destination with 13% of foreign direct investment return rates.
Investment funds like Paratech Ventures with its future fund dedicated to Africa and Orange Digital Ventures Target even the innovative start-ups that are developing in Africa.
Isahit shares this optimistic vision of Africa. This start-up works in the field of social outsourcing and has the mission of reducing poverty in Africa, and is therefore also aimed at reducing the migrant crisis that exists today in Europe.
For this reason, its Internet platform links companies in France wishing to outsource part of their digital tasks to men and women in precarious situations in countries of francophone Africa. The latter can carry out these tasks in exchange for a supplement of income.
This supplement of income allows them to carry out all types of personal or professional projects: paying their studies, allowing them to create their business, or buy a field... Isahit is very involved in the realization of these projects. Their program, Isahit help, gives them access to the Web and offers them tablets, which helps to fight the digital divide in these countries. It helps them to Bancariser and have an official professional status, in order to pay taxes and participate in the enrichment of their country. At its scale, Isahit can help attract foreign investors and thus create a virtuous circle on the African continent. A continent now full of promise. You can in turn invest in Africa, by participating in the campaign of crowdfunding of Isahit by clicking on the following link: Https://www.afrikwity.com/projet/isahit-2
After a successful career as an information systems manager in large companies, Isabelle Mashola decided it was time to put her professional experience to responsible use.
Digital changes the deal in terms of outsourcing and asks many questions. While the criteria for choosing external partners are gaining to take into account CSR and commitment factors, some go further and propose to help businesses work with people from struggling populations.
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