The Globe: Cracking the Next Growth Market: Africa

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The article “The Globe: Cracking the Next Growth Market: Africa” talks about the growing awareness of significant business opportunities in many African countries in the next coming years. Ever since the 2010 FIFA World Cup took place in South Africa, economists and executives all agreed that Africa would be the next big emerging market. However, companies have been hesitating to enter this new market due to undiversified production structure, low human capital, poverty, famine, and disease afflicting many nations. Perhaps the most concerning issue is the lack of good leadership and robust governance. More importantly, companies are aware of the fact that some promising countries present the highest risks. Despite all the challenges Africa is facing, a recent study about African consumer market conducted by McKinsey & Company has provided surprise findings. The continent is now among the fastest-expanding economic regions. Its real GDP grew by 4.7 percent a year over the past decade. Despite the global recession, Africa’s economy is growing. In 2008, Africans spent more on goods and services compared to Indians or Russians. Opportunities are opening in sectors such as retailing, telecommunications, banking, infrastructure-related industries, natural resources, and the agricultural value chain. With consumer demands high and with few foreign companies present at the moment, competition is less intense, and Africa is definitely the new land of opportunities. However, getting familiar with statistics and legal issues in Africa is only the first step to set up the foundation of a successful business. Investors and foreign companies need to find the right strategy in order to reduce potential risks. One of the suggestions is building relationships with locals who understand future consumers so that companies would be able to forecast demands, as well as establish training programs to develop new talents. As manufacturing in China is facing many environmental issues...
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