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Increased political stability and improvements in education and healthcare are transforming Africa’s economies and demographics: over the past decade, six of the world’s ten fastest-growing countries were African, and half of the increase in population over the next 40 years will be in Africa.
Foreign investment, especially from China, has improved infrastructures and boosted manufacturing throughout the continent. A strong enthusiasm for technology is manifested in 600 million mobile phone users and widespread mobile internet services.
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) predicts that Africa’s economic growth will accelerate to 5.2% this year, and Africa’s consumer-facing industries are expected to grow by more than US $400 billion by 2020. The proportion of people with disposable income in Africa is the fastest-growing in the world, predicted to reach 1.1 billion individuals by 2060.
With the world economy continuing to recover cautiously, Africa’s progress embodies the transformative power of growth. And British companies are in a unique position to tap into this market: despite contentious chapters in the UK’s long history with Africa, ‘Brand Britain’ is held in high regard. Products from the UK are considered symbols of quality, tradition and style.
This isn’t to say that trade with Africa – far from a homogenous region – doesn’t bring its unique challenges. So for any company contemplating opportunities here, it is crucial to work with partners that truly understand the local business landscape.
How We Made it in Africa (www.howwemadeitinafrica.com) offers business insight and networking for African businesspeople and showcases the opportunities the continent offers on a global level.
Sources: The Economist, DHL, GOV.UK, McKinsey Global Institute, UKTI, The World Bank
DHL began building its logistics network in Africa in the late 1970s. Today, DHL is present in every country on the continent, with all airside and landside facilities fully owned by DHL and thus compliant with DHL’s strict global security regulations. DHL’s airfleet is networked across Africa, with large freighter aircraft arriving from Europe every evening. In-house Customs at key airports – including a standalone DHL Hub and Gateway with clearance facilities in Nigeria – means that DHL does not rely on external agents or other third parties.
DHL’s logistical expertise, coupled with the business and cultural insight provided by UKTI and British Chambers of Commerce, can help you make 2014 the year to build your foundations for trading with Africa.