SSA growth rates are the highest in the world, people are optimistic with larger disposable incomes, and foreign direct investment is flowing in at larger quantities. U.S. companies should not miss out on SSA, since the “first mover” principle is particularly strong in SSA. Companies that are first to the market and build awareness, brand recognition, and relationships throughout supply chains have a tremendous advantage, arguably more so than in any other region of the world.
SSA consists of about 48 countries and includes some of the fastest growing economies in the world. In 2013, SSA had a combined GDP of $1.63 trillion and a population of 937 million, both growing rapidly. Africa has the world’s youngest population with about 200 million people between 15 and 24 years old. This young population is expected to more than double by 2050, when as many as 800 million Africans are expected to be between the ages of 25 and 59. This is expected to provoke a dramatic shift in the working population of the world.
Today, China has the advantage of having the largest labor force worldwide. But soon, China will be replaced by Africa, and according to projections, by 2050 one out of every four workers in the world is likely to be an African. This amounts to a significant opportunity for small companies and large multinational firms looking for consumers and customers for their products and services.
Only 16% of Africa’s one billion people are currently online, but this is changing rapidly. As larger percentages of the population have access to the business benefits of the internet, it will enhance the economy and the growth prospects for investment.
These are only a few of the reasons why SkyPatrick Global Services is focused on SSA and why more and more businesses are looking to SSA as a market for products and a productive and cost-effective labor force. The upside potential for U.S. companies in SSA is enormous, the risk can be managed and mitigated, and SSA companies and governments are increasingly looking abroad for investment, partners, expertise, and quality products and services. U.S. companies need to be aware and ready to respond to the opportunities.
Download our report: Sub-Saharan Africa: The next frontier for U.S. companies (PDF)