Africa is the only continent left to bloom. In what sector would you look to invest in if you had the opportunity?
Europe, Asia, America, Australia all have reached a good level of development now. The only continent left is Africa, everything is fast developing, communication, transport, health etc.
This is the place to invest! What do you think would be an ideal sector?
Personally, and sadly, none. Until Africa proves to be more stable both economically and socially I am keeping my money at home and letting the instability risk be taken by Governments. Yes...mostly China I suppose. There is always South America and there is still plenty of opportunity in North America, Europe and Australia/New Zealand. I have read the posts on Impact Investment. Some I think confuse it with Impact Philanthropy, which I support. Sorry to sound so negative.
Mining seems to be a good first step. Low labor costs, minimal environmental regulation, relatively easy to export, and minimal issues around quality (unlike manufactured products). Agriculture may be a good longer term investment, but Australia is probably a better place for that.
Some of the risks with investment in Africa are, naturally, instability of government, and risks of nationalisation of property or conflict breaking out. This means that countries where there has been a longer history of political stability are better places to invest. Of course, this is all non-expert investment advice and just opinion!
Vrigesh, my recommendation is to look at the work being done on impact sourcing by the Rockefeller Foundation (http://goo.gl/VqrXZD).
The energy sector and electrical accessibility are the biggest needs by far for Africa, but they are understandably daunting investments. The ROI might be delayed for a significant period of time due to the already existing problems (infrastructure, governance) as well. Very high risk, very high reward.
Indeed, Africa has got a lot of potential for investment. But, the question is how feasible are these prospecst? This question arises when one considers the fact that most African countries surely have the human resources to do business but, where are the infrastructure with which to take off or start the investment or business? You may want to try your hands on the energy sector or the Oil and Gas industry, which requires large capital to start with. As you ponder over this suggestion, be reminded that the profit margin is equally, great! Welcome to Africa.
Hi Vrigesh, as you have pointed out, Africa is fast developing in a multitude of sectors ... my advice would be to invest in an area that you are familiar with as a start, as it would allow you to understand the business cycles unique to Africa.
You would then be able to extrapolate this information and apply it to other areas of interest.
I would strongly suggest you perform a proper due diligence first as business and opportunities in Africa vary considerably from country to country.
Please feel free to contact me and I can get you in touch with a member of my team that can assist you if you require.
*please note this is general comment and does not constitute advice, as there is a considerable lack of information to advise on*
There is some companies working hard to bring broadband to remote regions (see The Economist: http://goo.gl/PFvXbi). Preparing to bring services that rely on broadband internet might be a good start.
The other thing, also Internet related, is mobile payment processing. If you can develop a system that allows African rural regions to process payments better via mobile and internet, it might help businesses spread there.
Another thing is agriculture - China depends on Africa for food, so does South Korea. Helping Africa grow food in more sustainable ways might be environmentally sound and financially rewarding.
There are lots of opportunities in all of the continents. Africa gas some attraction in the rare mineral area. Unstable governments has always been the problem in Africa. Investing in that arena is not for the faint of heart.
Just got back from volunteering in Tanzania for 4 months. It was amazing to see how big words mobile, telecom and infrastructure translate into opportunities on the ground. People are unbanked- so mobile money transfer services are booming. People want to stay connected- so mobile phones are a huge area of need. Facebook has just gone free via partnerships with telcos-big deal! The basic need unmet is electricity. So social businesses providing simple lamps that charge from solar stations are doing amazing. Profits per sale may be small in all these areas but the numbers of consumers are in millions.