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Africa Investing in Africa: Self Empowerment

If you have not considered investing in African soil by now, you are sadly missing out. Too many opportunities are emerging and really, the first to come, will surely be the first to be served!
Africa is fast becoming a continent to reckon with. We are seeing the recent burst of entrepreneurship in Africa yield positive results. Private investors are already looking for business in Africa, providing for necessities like infrastructural development. There is no denying that the continent is where the world will look towards for rapid economic growth. The sentiment is echoed by Mark Mobius, Executive Chairman of Templeton Emerging Markets Group and Manager of the Templeton Africa Fund “We believe that Africa could be the ‘emerging market’ story of the next decade”. – Sara Sjolin (Market Watch)

Foreign Investment

Currently, China is the leading trading partner in Africa, with an approximate of 15 African countries under its belt. By 2013, they had invested a staggering $210 billion in Africa alone!- MarketWatch.  As it stands, China holds an immense influence in the success or failure of Africa’s economy. This then begs the question, how do we create a business environment that allows for the leveraging of African talent, to nest its own economic growth?

Africa investing in Africa

What is important to note when talking about the subsequent growth of Africa, apart from foreign investment, is the number of African-owned and managed businesses; the emergence of African entrepreneurs all over the continent. Kenya, Ghana and Nigeria are a prime example of emergent young entrepreneurs who are contributing to the growth of Africa’s domestic economy. Initiatives such as the Tony Elumelo Foundation have changed the face of African business for the better. This successful foundation was established by Tony O Elumelo, a Nigerian born self-made business man whose passion lies in entrepreneurship.
Under this foundation, the Tony Elumelo Entrepreneurship was designed to grow and develop 10 000 entrepreneurs, create 1 million jobs, and add an annual revenue of 10 billion rands to Africa over the next decade. Tony believes that entrepreneurship could be the key to unlocking the abundance of untapped potential across Africa. Recently, the research and policy arm of the Tony Elumelo Foundation released an 86-page research report called Unleashing Africa’s Entrepreneurs which helped identify and analyse the factors inhibiting the potential and success of entrepreneurs in Africa.
According to this report, 87% of entrepreneurs said that their biggest challenge was in acquiring the necessary capital for their start-ups. 69% of them used personal savings to finance their developments. 63% entrepreneurs believe that government should do more to improve the quality of infrastructure in Africa, and 82% felt that access to a business accelerator such as an innovation hub is important to the success of business. These findings came from 20 000 entrepreneurs from 54 African countries within the foundation’s entrepreneurship network.
 African businesses, entrepreneurs, policy makers and African consumers are starting to shape in the future Africa deserves to have. With the above African-based research reports, the dynamism of young entrepreneurs will grow and develop to an extent where traditional incumbents will be challenged, and a new form of economic independence will emerge.- The Brenthurst Foundation. Like the South African folk say “ Wa lala wa sala” (Zulu language) means. Question is, where would you like to see your investments in the next successful decade of Africa’s economy?