Starting a Company in Sub-Saharan Africa

Starting a Company

Thinking about starting a company? Why not look at the seven untapped business opportunities in sub-Saharan Africa.

Now these aren’t the typical types of businesses people like to open. But they rather represent the opportunities yet to be exploited in sub-Saharan Africa’s robust economic growth that has attracted investment from both foreign and local business people. With information sourced from How We Made It in Africa online publication who asked a selection of DHL country managers about the biggest untapped business opportunities in their respective territories and here’s what they had to say.

Mozambique – retail

A.T. Kearney’s 2015 African Retail Development Index ranked Mozambique among the top 15 most attractive markets in sub-Saharan Africa for retail expansion. The country is experiencing a growing shopping culture driven by rising incomes and a large number of expats in the capital Maputo

Ethiopia – telecommunications

The telecommunications industry in Ethiopia is controlled by the state-owned Ethio Telecom. In 2015 it was reported that Ethiopia had 40 million mobile subscribers and 10 million internet connections, yet it has a population of over 90 million. Services such as mobile money are also in their infancy.

Madagascar – mining

Madagascar’s resources include coal, nickel and ilmenite. Mamy Rakotondraibe‎, country manager of DHL Madagascar, highlights the sector as potentially lucrative for investors. However, underdeveloped infrastructure and bureaucracy have frustrated the efforts of some mining companies.

Liberia – hydro-electricity

Nearly 90% of the population in Liberia has no access to reliable electricity. According to Akwasi Aninakwah, DHL Express country manager, there’s potential for greater hydro-electricity generation. Liberia has six major rivers Mano, Saint Paul, Lofa, Saint John, Cestos and Cavalla that drain over 60% of the country’s water. He cites opportunity to provide power for Liberia as well as other countries in the sub-region.


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