20 Lucrative Business Opportunities in Africa See Latest Update

Filed in Articles by on January 14, 2022

– Lucrative Business Opportunities in Africa –

Lucrative Business Opportunities in Africa: Are you an African and wondering kinds of business opportunities in Africa that would fetch you millions? Then, this article is meant to help you. Here is a comprehensive list of 20 business opportunities that will earn you millions.

1. Crowd-farming (Agriculture)

All over the world, agriculture is a major business and most farmers are financially well-off.

According to the United Nations, Africa’s agribusiness industry is expected to be worth $1 trillion by 2030.

And it makes perfect sense. The continent has a large domestic market, owns 60 percent of the world’s unused arable land, and has abundant labor resources and a favorable climate in most parts.

Still, Africa spends over $30 billion on food imports yearly.

A major part of the problem is that most of Africa’s food is still produced by smallholder farmers in rural areas. They are numerous poor people who use crude farming methods and tools and have very limited access to capital.

But what if all of us in the funds of the rural area together, invest in these rural farmers, and take a share of the profits at harvest time?

Wouldn’t that significantly increase food production, cut down the continent’s food import bill, and generate more money for both the investors and the farmers?

This business technique is called “crowd-farming”, and it’s a trend that could totally transform the face of agribusiness in Africa.

As Africa’s population increases over the next 30 years, the business opportunities in Africa‘s agribusiness space are very likely to produce a league of millionaires who made their money while pulling thousands of farmers out of poverty.

2. Waste Management

For years, waste has been a huge and nagging problem in Africa’s urban areas.

Currently, most of the waste produced in Africa is burned, buried, or thrown away. As a result, more than 80% of solid waste produced on the continent ends up in landfills or gets dumped in water bodies.

And as the continent’s population continues to increase, the waste problem will only get worse.

So, what exactly do we do with all the growing heaps of filthy waste before we get affected by the worst environmental crisis the world has ever known?

In South Africa, the solution seems to be to convert waste into animal feed.

AgriProtein is a business that grows maggots gotten from waste collected from markets, households, and businesses. The maggots are processed into a highly rich protein supplement that substitutes fish meal in animal feed.

The company has been able to raise up to $30 million in funding, making it one of the best-funded insect farming businesses to date.

In Ethiopia, the amazing solution is that wastes are converted into electricity.

The Repi waste recycling factory in Addis Ababa will obtain 50 megawatts of electricity from the waste collected from across the city.

The facility is expected to fund 3 million homes with electricity, and avoid the release of millions of tons of CO2 to the atmosphere.

Across the continent, entrepreneurs are working hard to squeeze out value from waste, and in the process, they’re creating an industry that could generate both low and high-level jobs for thousands of people.

From the trend of waste recycling and transformation initiatives I’ve observed, there is only one place this is heading to.

I predict that over the next era, waste will become a valuable commodity that households and businesses can sell for money. And the waste is probably going to return to the food chain, to the electricity grid, or in some other recycled form.

3. Drones

In Africa as a whole, it appears there’s much more to drones than chasing terrorists and taking breathtaking altitude photographs.

Drones are finding some of their most useful and impactful roles in Africa and are helping with everything from logistics and farmland management, to humanitarian deliveries and conservation support.

In Rwanda, Zipline is a drone delivery startup that delivers blood and medical supplies to clinics in the country. After positive pilot operations, it is now expanding into neighboring Tanzania.

Aerobotics, a South African business that uses its drones to provide bird’s eye surveillance for farmers that provides critical information that can boost crop yields by up to 10 percent. It now operates in eleven countries, including the US, Russia, and the UK.

In other parts of the continent, drones are playing more vital roles in humanitarian efforts to deliver aid to remote and conflict-ridden areas.

They are also being used to monitor deforestation and illicit mining activities as part of efforts to conserve the continent’s forests and wildlife.

As you know, the drone industry is quite new and still emerging. At this rate, there is still an extensive range of possibilities for drone technology in Africa.

And those entrepreneurs who can adapt drones to solving serious problems on the continent will open new and uncharted territory that could unlock wealth, jobs, and more business opportunities in Africa.

4. Affordable Housing

Africa is facing the world’s highest rate of rural-to-urban migration. And by 2030, it is projected that up to 50% of the continent’s population could be living in towns and cities.

Urbanization is great, but where will all these people live? And even if the governments come in, they cannot build homes fast enough to meet the teeming demand for accommodation.

In Nigeria, Africa’s most populated country, the housing deficit is estimated at 20 million homes In South Africa, the deficit stands at 2.3 million homes.

Africa’s housing crisis opens a lot of nice opportunities for several industries; from cement production and furniture making to building contractors and mortgages.

It’s not surprising that Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, has expanded his presence in cement production across several countries on the continent. His interests in cement have made up a significant portion of his net worth.

But beyond conventional housing, there is an interesting trend of homes being constructed from cheap and durable alternatives, like shipping containers.

In Cape Town (South Africa), building contractors like Berman Karlil are giving sustainable and affordable housing options by converting decommissioned shipping containers into low-cost homes.

In Kenya, entrepreneurs like Denise Majani are also transforming shipping containers into amazingly creative residential and office accommodation at half the price of contemporary housing.

These unusual options are significantly cutting down the cost of building homes, making them affordable to a larger segment of the population.

So far, a lot of Africa’s housing developments have been attentive on the premium and elite segment of the market. While the huge margins from this segment have been very lucrative for investors, the biggest opportunities will emerge from providing housing at scale, and at affordable prices.

5. Automobiles

As more Africans journey to the cities, the big urbanization wave has caused a surge in demand for transportation services.

At current, there are just about 44 vehicles per 1,000 people in Africa. This is significantly below the global average of 180 and lower than the motorization rates of other developing areas like Latin America, Oceania, and the Middle East.

Estimates suggest that automobile sales on the continent could reach 10 million units per annum within the next 15 years.

It is no surprise the big-name automobile brands like Toyota, Volkswagen, and Mercedes are already digging into the African market by setting up assembly plants on the continent.

But what is more fascinating is the emergence of “Made in Africa” automobiles.

This increase in demand will create several interesting business opportunities in Africa and open supporting industries including dealerships, spare parts, auto-service shops, auto financing, and even ridesharing services.

6. Local Products for Export

Africa spends billions of dollars on importation every year. This includes both food and non-food items.

But outside the traditional commodities – crude oil, minerals, cocoa, coffee, timber, etc. What else of value can Africa actually export?

It occurs there are a lot of local products on the continent that have the potential to become global brands. The problem is, we frequently overlook or look down on them.

But a few interesting entrepreneurs are now turning local African products into global brands and best-sellers.

Take Nilotica for example, a rare type of Shea butter that is used in luxury beauty products sold around the world. The trees that produce this butter only grow at the source of the Nile River; in Northern Uganda, South Sudan, and Ethiopia.

By working with local women in the region to process the butter, Leila Janah – an American entrepreneur — has built LXMI, a luxury beauty brand with a range of skincare products that sell in over 300 beauty stores across the world.

Another example is fonio, a forgotten cereal that has been grown in Africa for more than 5,000 years.

Largely regarded as a “miracle” grain, fonio is gluten-free and rich in several nutrients that are deficient in most other major grains, such as rice, wheat, and barley.

By processing fonio into products like crackers, cereals, and pasta, one Senegalese entrepreneur and ex-chef — Pierre Thiam – has put this ancient food on shelves in New York, with plans to roll out to other stores across the USA.

Nilotica and fonio are only just two examples of several local African products that have global potential. And in 2018, more smart entrepreneurs will carve niches for themselves by exploring these products and transforming them into international brands.

Will you be one of them?

7. Startup Funding

The buzz of entrepreneurship activity on the African continent has caught the attention of a growing number of investors, both within and outside the continent.

The potential returns on investment in Africa is currently one of the highest in the world and has become too obvious for investors to ignore.

Since 2012, the amount of seed funding and venture capital flowing to Africa has grown 1,400 percent and the trend continues to look up.

In 2017 alone, African tech startups received $560 million in funding from local and international investors. This amount represents a 53 percent jump from the $366 million raised one year earlier, in 2016.

And the biggest deal of the year was a $69 million investment in TakeALot, a South African e-Commerce startup.

Also, Silicon Valley accelerators such as 500 Startups and Y Combinator have increased the number of African startups that are admitted into, and receive funding, through their programs.

Currently, South Africa, Kenya, and Nigeria are in the spotlight and take the lion share (about 75 percent) of the investment inflows.

It’s important to note that every year, the size of venture capital investments that take place around the world exceeds $100 billion. Currently, Africa gets less than 1 percent of this global deal flow.

It’s still very early days in Africa’s startup funding space, and 2018 will certainly attract more investors looking to explore emerging business opportunities in Africa, and take their positions in lucrative deals.

8. Fintech

Africa’s underdeveloped financial services industry presents very tough, important, and widespread problems that need to be solved.

After more than 50 years of banking on the continent, just about 34 percent of adults in sub-Saharan Africa have bank accounts or access to formal financial services.

It is clear the traditional model of banking is too slow, inflexible, and incapable of spreading financial access at the pace the continent requires.

But with the spread of mobile phones and the Internet across Africa, the continent’s entrepreneurs are leveraging technology to deepen financial access in ways the banks never have.

Last year, Flutterwave, a Nigerian fintech startup, raised $10 million in funding from a group of investors led by Greyloft, a US-based venture capital firm.

To date, it’s one of the highest Series A round investment in an African startup.

And there is a wide range of opportunities that are opening up in Africa’s financial services space.

They include bill payments, bulk disbursement, international remittances, merchant payments, mobile airtime top-up, mobile banking, person-to-person transfers, peer-to-peer lending, micro insurance, and several other interesting opportunities.

In the area of overseas remittances, for example, Africa loses more than $1.4 billion annually in charges alone. Western Union and MoneyGram have been longtime monopolies in the remittances segment, and are clearly ripe for disruption.

Opening up, growing, and disrupting Africa’s financial services market will certainly transform millions of lives on the continent and create a league of millionaires in the process.

Fintech will surely remain one of the top business opportunities in Africa to watch in 2018.

9. Low-cost Private Schools

According to this report titled: “The Business of Education in Africa”, it is estimated that 1 in 4 African students – a total of 66 million – will be enrolled in private schools by the year 2021.

Rapid population growth, poor funding, corruption, and neglect have caused a serious deterioration in the quality of education in public schools on the continent.

As a result, more African parents are looking to private schools to ensure their kids get a good education. And the demand for this alternative is skyrocketing.

For example, in Nigeria, the number of low-cost private schools in Lagos, its commercial capital, is estimated to be as high as 18,000. By comparison, in 2010-11 the city had just 1,600 government schools.

And this trend of low-cost private education is leading entrepreneurs to come up with several interesting models.

In Tanzania, the Silverleaf Academy is a chain of low-cost private primary schools that charge a daily school fee of $1.50. The school uses a technology-based approach and offers a curriculum taught by internally-trained teachers.

In Nigeria, the Lekki Peninsula Affordable Schools is a stand-alone low-cost school that charges an average annual fee of $125. The school has received up to $75,000 in funding from Village Capital and Pearson Affordable Learning.

As more players enter the low-cost private education space on the continent, I suspect the fierce competition will improve the quality of education, drive down school fees, and afford many children the chance of a decent education.

Rather than set up exclusive private schools for the elite, who says entrepreneurs can’t make good returns and find tons of fulfillment in educating children en masse?

10. Urban Logistics

The future of Africa is in the cities. And by 2030, up to half of the continent’s 1.4 billion people will be located in the cities.

Currently, about 60 African cities have a population of over 1 million people. At the top of the pack are cities like Lagos (21 million), Kinshasa (10 million), and Cairo (9.5 million).

And one of the biggest problems that appear to be worsening with the growth of Africa’s urban populations is congestion. Most cities on the continent do not yet have well-diversified transport systems, so getting around town can be a very frustrating endeavor.

It’s a logistical nightmare that worries both consumers and businesses.

Thankfully, some African entrepreneurs are already hacking this problem.

In Kenya, Twiga Foods uses technology to pool the orders of several urban retailers, saving them a trip to the market by delivering to their doorstep.

It is now the largest distributor of a number of basic food staples in Kenya, and the startup raised $10.3 million last year.

In Nigeria, MAX is a fast-growing startup that provides last-mile delivery services. Last year, it launched an on-demand motorcycle courier service for clients who have critical deliveries that need to beat the notorious congestion on Lagos roads.

As we go into the future, more entrepreneurs will figure out ways to outsmart the complex problems and frustrating challenges of logistics in urban areas.

In 2018, urban logistics will likely remain one of the most promising emerging business opportunities in Africa.

11. Healthcare Services

With poorly-funded public hospitals and a significant brain drain of African doctors to countries outside the continent, waiting for the government to fix the continent’s healthcare sector will not work.

Also, waiting for international “donor” funds (which are channeled through governments) will not work too. We have been doing the same thing for decades and very little has changed.

With 25 percent of the global disease burden, a rapidly growing population, and a rising middle class, Africa’s healthcare market presents a huge opportunity.

According to the IFC, Africa’s $21 billion healthcare market could double in size in just 10 years.

Currently, a growing number of Africans are seeking medical help outside the continent, in places like India, the Middle East, and Europe. This growth in outbound medical tourism costs Africans millions of dollars every year.

To arrest this ugly situation before it gets much worse, Africa needs a private-sector led the transformation of its healthcare industry that requires both the innovation of local entrepreneurs and investment from local and international investors.

Gladly, this transformation is already happening.

In East Africa, a growing number of Indian hospital groups, like Narayana and Gurgaon, are setting up hospital facilities to tap into the continent’s healthcare market.

In Kenya, Dr. Maxwell Okoth, a young medical doctor and entrepreneur, started a chain of low-cost hospitals with only $3,000. He is now setting up a 100-bed multi-specialty hospital that will have a cancer center, radiology center, pediatric unit, and several other specialties.

In Nigeria, Lifebank – a startup that develops smart ways to deliver critical blood supplies to hospitals in busy cities – raised $0.2 million to support and expand its operations.

Across the continent, more entrepreneurs are exploring creative alternatives to solving Africa’s significant healthcare problems.

There is no doubt their efforts will not only transform the continent’s healthcare industry but will unlock millions of job opportunities in the process.

12. Paper Bag Production

I projected paper bag production as a business to watch out for in 2018. It will still be one of the hot business ideas for 2019. It concerns the environment and the environment will be a huge talking point in 2019.

Still, on the environment, I expect plastic bags to gradually go out of use from 2019, maybe not that immediate but bound to happen at some point.

Paper bags have got good shouts in other African countries with nations like South Africa, Morocco, Rwanda, Uganda, etc all imposing a ban on plastic bags.

How long before our beloved Nigeria follows suit? No matter how long it takes, investing in paper bag production will be worth it.

13. eCommerce

Konga recently took a brave step to suspend their Pay on the Delivery feature. People are getting used to shopping online so the kid gloves are gradually coming off.

Don’t be afraid of selling your products online. It’s one of the most rewarding business decisions you could make in 2019.

E-commerce is a business industry in internet marketing. You don’t need to have your own e-commerce website. You can sell on social media; you can even sell on established e-commerce websites like Konga and Jumia.

14. Transportation

Like real estate, every year will always be a good year for transportation. Uber has challenged the way transportation works in Nigeria and now we see startups like FindMyRide and GoMyWay creating innovations in the transport sector.

Taxi drivers are no longer the old men driving rickety cars, polluting everywhere with smoke. You too can make money in transportation. The opportunities are endless.

15. Fashion Design Business

Fashion is a business for every year, I know, but creative fashion designers will make more money in 2019 than conventional designers. The emphasis is on creativity; those who do things differently.

Have you seen what designers do with our Ankara fashion recently? That’s what I’m talking about.

16. Animal Feed Production Business

People worry so much about starting animal production business; only a few see the huge potentials in animal feed production. Fish must eat to grow, right?

Don’t wait until you have a big factory. A friend of mine made huge profits this year in animal feed. He would visit noodles production factories and make a deal to buy off the waste product of noodles (the broken, no-use ones). He would then supply them to fish farmers as feed. He has no company or factory, just his resourcefulness, and ingenuity, and he makes very good money.

17. Drop-shipping

Drop-shipping is a business that has always presented huge challenges for young Nigerians because of the difficulty we have in receiving international payments, especially on PayPal.

That notwithstanding, people are getting into the business. Truth is, dropshipping is one of the most perfect passive incomes, side hustle businesses you can ever think of. The process is so simple and the business so lucrative, those who know-how are making a killing.

18. Online Tutoring

Blogging is not the only way you can establish yourself as an expert and make money out of your knowledge. Many people now take online courses to make up for the knowledge they could not get in the classroom. There is a big opportunity in this niche.

If you can deliver tutorials on topics people are interested in learning, people will gratefully pay you to learn them. Starting your own online tutorials does not take much.

19. Mobile Food Vending Business

If you love cooking, mobile food vending will be a good and lucrative way to get into the catering business in 2019. The Igwe Brothers started Speedmeals Mobile Kitchen in 2010; the market is still as open as ever.

The major challenge with this, as with any food business, is getting peoples’ trust. You do this with proper hygiene, tasty meals and timely, consistent delivery. It will also put a lot of ‘mama put’ on their toes to improve the quality of their cooking.

20. Apps Development

Mobile smartphones are not going anywhere anytime soon; they have come to stay. One of the best ways for your business to stay relevant is to give people easy access to your online platform and that is by creating an app for your business.

There are literally millions of apps on the play store and many more are coming up every day. The app development business is booming for very good reasons.

If you don’t have a business to develop an app for, you can still make money planning and developing apps for existing businesses.

CSN Team.

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