Why should one consider investing in Africa?

Africa

 

I am often asked by business people, in securing Canadian investment for Africa, the simple question: ‘Why should we invest in Africa?’

In their defense I must say, most people asking this question realise Africa is a continent and not a country and that the investments we are suggesting are in countries and specific projects.

By the way, Africa comprises 54 recognised independent states with full sovereignty, in other words countries with 1.1 billion people (2013 statistics) and about 2000 different languages spoken throughout the continent. Business is conducted mainly in French and English, with French being the most common language. This is a left over of the colonial era and is still the official language for governments, commerce and the media.

We also know the Chinese are deeply immersed in Africa due to the abundance of raw materials. Africa is estimated to contain 90% of the entire world supply of platinum and cobalt, half of the world’s gold supply, two-thirds of world manganese and 35% of the world’s uranium. It also accounts for nearly 75% of the world’s coltan, an important mineral used in electronic devices, including cellphones, found in the eastern areas of the Congo.

Less known is the fact that the Chinese export raw materials without processing it, therefore denying the right of the country of origin to add value to the process. It is common sense that a country should export copper and not the copper ore, the steel and not the iron ore and so on. Herein lies huge opportunities captured.

Africa seems to be last in line for development. It has the youngest population on the planet with a median age of just 19.5 years as opposed to Europe 42.2, the USA at 36.8 and Canada at 39.8. Incidentally China is at 36.8 years. Thus a tremendous market opening for consumer goods, telecommunication and the like. To substantiate this point MTN, a South African cell phone and data company, is far bigger in Nigeria than in its country of origin.

The top earners are in mining and oil but surprisingly closely followed by banking, insurance, telecommunications and retail. A client of ours is making a small fortune by supplying per-fabricated self contained poultry farming units.

Due to the current strong Dollar it is a good time to invest and the growth is there. In the past it has been as much as 30% per annum in some instances.

Investors are often deterred with perceptions of volatile political climates and unacceptable practices of corruption. This is where Dekka Solutions Ltd assist investors and under the auspices of the Dekka Group based in Cape Town South Africa, navigate the legal, tax and investment field.

To get to the peak of Everest you employ a Sherpa guide, similarly so we are the Sherpas to the peak of Africa. Go where the growth is. Be a game changer and invest in a business in Africa.

Lukas Coetsee

June 2016

Lukas.coetsee@dekka.co.za

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