Top 5 sectors to invest in Africa (2022)

Africa is a continent that battles many challenges from human rights abuses, to poverty, climate change and lots more. The continent, nonetheless, has been in the news for being the next big thing in business. With abundant natural resources, vast arable lands, and a strong and young labour force; the opportunities available to the continent are endless.

Experts predict excessive development to investments in Africa in the coming years; the big question is, what exactly is ideal to invest in the continent with the most nations on the planet? This work provides insight into the five major sectors to invest in Africa and makes considerable profits for foreigners and local investors. 

Africa’s biggest sectors to invest in

The African continent has varying sectors that investors can leverage to gain profits. The list below contains the major sectors that are known to provide high revenue returns for most African countries. The once-dark continent provides more opportunities than ever before expected in the past decade.

1. Agriculture

Agriculture remains the largest contributor to over 30% of African states’ revenue. Over 90% of African countries depend on agriculture as one of their top three revenue sources. In Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, agriculture is the largest contributor to the country’s GDP with an over 40% contribution and also remains the largest employer of labour in the country. 

Africa’s agriculture sector is largely motivated by the basic forms of farming and usually on a small scale scattered at different parts of the continent. Investors could invest in fertilizer production, seed distribution, industrialization for agriculture, machinery and equipment, funding for farmers, processing, farming on a large scale and so on. The importance of agriculture to the African continent dates back to the 19th century, with Africa being one of the top three largest continent producers of palm oil, yams, cassava, ginger, tomatoes, rice, coffee, cocoa, bananas, pineapples, pepper and other agricultural produce. 

Funding for agricultural investments on a direct scale exists in over 40 countries, including Nigeria, Congo, Kenya, Cameroon and Ethiopia. The African Development Bank (ADB), the Bank of Agriculture and African countries’ central banks offer funding to investors to undertake direct investment into the African agricultural sector. 

Some of the challenges investors should expect in the sector are community clashes, pests in crops, and excessive government bureaucracy. Nevertheless, the challenges can be addressed with the employment of experts in the field of agriculture in the country you intend to invest in.

2. Oil and Gas

oil and gas come second on the list of the best sector to invest in Africa. The African oil and gas framework is motivated by a vast network of oil fields located across the continent. Countries to look out for in Africa when thinking to invest in oil and gas include Nigeria, Angola, Libya, Algeria, Ghana and others. The continent’s oil and gas reserves greatly impact the economy of over 10 nations on the continent.

With Europe facing a shortage in gas importation following the war between Ukraine and Russia, Africa provides a suitable substitute for Europe’s search for gas, with this shift in trade investing in gas plants and gas drilling in Africa can be a very effective move to increasing your finances as an investor. 

Presently, energy concerns across the world are largely influenced by petroleum, with Africa accounting for the bulk of the world’s petroleum energy needs. African states also trade crude oil to the United States, China, Europe, Brazil and others. Opportunities exist for investments in the upstream, midstream and downstream sectors, with the most opportunities at the upstream and midstream. Some challenges to expect in the industry are host community clashes, excessive taxation, oil theft, over excessive bureaucracy. 

3. Mining

The mining sector offers a great opportunity for investment for local and foreign investors. The sector brags as one of Africa’s biggest employers with billions of dollars gain in revenue over the last decade. African resources ranging from gold, diamonds, limestone, coal, bitumen, granite and others are in numerous quantities across the continent. The continent is currently the largest resource holder on the planet. 

Mining occurs in almost all countries on the continent with opportunities available for exploration, excavation, and processing. Investors can take the advantage of investing in machinery and equipment, trading mineral resources or investing in the various mining companies across Africa. Challenges in the African mining sector include exorbitant budgets for mining compared to the last two sectors, labour strikes and excessive bureaucracy. 

4. Information Communication Technology (ICT)

The ICT sector in Africa has gained commendable progress over the years. A sector that boosts economic revenues for Africa, the ICT sector, surprisingly, draws a strong development to the interaction on the African continent. With investment opportunities in Fintech, agritech, edutech, logistics, transport hauling, E-commerce and so on. As of 2021, Africa had ten unicorns, this number is a tremendous success following that the ICT industry in most African states thrives with little or no support from the government.

ICT in today’s Africa is a strong indication of the opportunities available to investors on the continent. Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, Egypt, and Morocco are some African countries to look out for when seeking to invest in the ICT sector. Challenges include general startup management.

5. Tourism

The African tourism sector is huge, with concentrations on a variety of activities. Africa is one of the most visited continents in the world for tourism with over ten million tourists visiting the continent annually. Tourist attractions range from seeing animals at wildlife parks, gaining experience of African local cuisines and culture, visiting historical sites, and having a feel of the overall African natural surroundings including hiking, waterfalls, and others. 

The biggest countries to invest in tourism on the continent are Egypt, South Africa, Kenya, Namibia, Mozambique and Ethiopia. Investors can seize the opportunity to invest in hospitality, and transportation.

Conclusion

There are tons of opportunities on the African continent for investors. From entertainment, transportation, banking, retailing, and manufacturing to a host of others. The continent is still gradually developing. Experts believe by the year 2060 Africa would likely reach its peak of development where investors would have the opportunity to gain more revenue.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I invest in real estate in Africa as a foreigner?

Yes, most African countries provide varying opportunities for real estate investment. Nonetheless, you should research each country-specific law before investing.

Can I repatriate revenues to my countries after investing in Africa?

Repatriation of revenues is possible in almost all African states. African states are signatories to international conventions for the repatriation of profits and protection of foreign businesses.

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Richard Okoroafor

Richard Okoroafor

Richard is a brilliant legal content writer who doubles as a finance lawyer. He brings his wealth of legal knowledge in corporate commercial transactions to bear, offering the best value that exceeds expectations.

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