According to a report released by the Economist, current growth rates suggest that Africa may soon become the world’s new investment frontier.
The publication found that six of the ten fastest-growing economies of the world were in Africa, with the International Monetary Fund projecting that the continent may soon occupy seven out of the total number of places, overtaking Asian competitors in terms of future business opportunities.
International investors have started noticing this trend and are seeking new opportunities in the region.
Dennis Nally, chairman of PricewatersCoopers (PwC) International, said, “Africa is an important frontier for economic growth. We believe the regional economy could double by 2020 to nearly US$3 trillion, and we are getting a clear signal from our international clients that Africa is an increasingly important market for them.”
PwC has recently decided to invest $100 million in the region, with the aim of improving local infrastructure, developing human skills and employing 8,000 new people.
Africa’s enormous potential derives from its vast natural resources, high rates of urbanisation and rapidly growing, young population.
There are now 200 million young Africans who are ready to become part of the global workforce.
Although, until now, it was mostly foreign investors who took on the big business opportunities, this trend is now changing.
The Financial Times reports that the brain drain that afflicts the African continent, which is characterised by local talent leaving in the search of better opportunities, is now finally being reversed. Many skilled and qualified Africans have started to return home.
Three youngsters from Ghana, who had started successful careers in the US, for example, created the African company Databank, now one of the country’s most successful enterprises.
For now, however, Databank represents the exception rather than the norm. There are still millions of young people in Africa who do not have the skills and training to take part in the continent’s growth and will find many closed doors and missed opportunities along their way.
The mission for the region now is to invest in its human capital and make sure that the African people are ready to become the beneficiaries of tomorrow’s fastest-growing economic bloc.