Sub-Saharan Africa has been a high economic performer over the last few years and continued growth is projected. Ashay Mervyn, a trader responsible for investments in emerging markets, agrees that the future here looks bright. Since Sub-Saharan Africa has recently attained ‘near record’ growth in foreign investment, it seems that investors are convinced.
Here are five of the important reasons why experts believe Africa will shine in the future:
- Natural resources – as resources in the rest of the world grow scarcer, the untouched reserves in Sub-Saharan Africa will continue to enhance its wealth and influence. Recent economic growth has been fuelled by new oil and gas reserves discovered in Tanzania, Mozambique and other parts of east Africa. The copper rich areas of the Democratic Republic of Congo continue to make it Africa’s largest copper producer and Sierra Leone has large deposits of iron ore, both have helped give the continent an economic boost.
- Industry – at the forefront of Sub-Saharan Africa’s economic growth, Ethiopia has become one of the main manufacturing centres of the region. Already a strong producer of textiles, Ethiopia plans to expand into other industries including sugar, cement, and leather products. According to Julians Amboko, a research analyst at Starlink Africa, this will be ‘an engine of growth going forward’. Côte d’Ivoire, with the largest economy in West Africa, is also an attractive area for foreign investors interested in high performing exports like cocoa, cashews, and oil.
- Young population – the vibrant youthful population of sub-Saharan Africa is another valuable resource. Population control methods in China have swung the mean age of that country much older, which may hamper economic growth in the future. Africa on other hand has a young workforce easily capable of supporting the small retired population and growing the economy at the same time.
- Educated, urbanised population – in the past, raising the levels of literacy and mathematical skills has been a problem for Sub-Saharan Africa, but that is already starting to change. People in this part of the world see improved education as a clear goal for the future. Many areas are also becoming increasingly urbanised. These new population trends have the ability to change poor governing strategies and corruption that have hampered Sub-Saharan Africa in the past.
- Consumer class – as Sub-Saharan Africa develops a larger consumer class, this will affect world markets, just as the advent of a Chinese middle class significantly changed many companies’ production focus. In the future, African consumers will be an important factor driving global industry.
There are some challenges ahead, but signs already show a trend toward resolving these issues for more uniform economic growth. The 21st century, long thought to be ‘The Asian Century’ may yet turn out to be dubbed Africa’s success story.