An impressive 89% of all survey respondents – drawn from nearly 300 African businesses from a range of sectors – indicated that their organisation was actively planning expansion into new African markets within the next five years.
The third in the series of three research reports is titled Unlocking Expansion
Opportunities aAcross Africa. It reveals that the majority (62.5%) of respondents currently operate in a single African jurisdiction, with just 4.5% of respondent businesses currently operating in 20 or more African countries.
When explaining their attitude to expansion, or hunger for it, delegates were forthcoming in their commentary, explaining, “We need to expand in order to reach more customers and investors” and, “Markets for agricultural produce are never-ending. We also do value addition of our produce, thus there’s huge demand, hence the expansion.”
The African Continental Free Trade Area was also highlighted by multiple respondents as a primary motivation for expansion plans.
The report includes expert commentary from the likes of Acha Leke, Chairman of the Africa Region for McKinsey, who, when asked about the pandemic’s impact on African expansion opportunities, Leke replied, “Although the Covid-19 crisis has negatively impacted the revenue and valuations of many African businesses, it has also sparked extraordinary initiative and innovation as companies find new ways to serve the needs of both consumers and business customers.”
In depth feedback on the topic of expansion is further provided by Diane Karusisi, CEO of the Bank of Kigali, and Falgu Shah, Business Operations Lead at hyper-growth fintech business, Paystack.
Commenting on this third report from Rwanda Finance Limited and Africa Legal, Michelle Umurungi, Senior Policy Advisor at Rwanda Finance Limited, said,
“Expansion is inevitable for any business looking to grow, yet it can be perceived as a cumbersome process on the African continent. This report shares the views of businesses across different sectors and offers insights on practical ways to expand on the continent.”
Wendy Bampton, COO of Africa Professional Services Group, is excited about the insights that have been revealed through this research. “We wanted this report to present a genuine voice of African business across multiple sectors. GDP and growth figures can only tell one part of the story; as always, we wanted to dig deeper and unearth what the true landscape for African growth looks like,” she commented.
This timely report will serve as a useful reminder of both the realisable opportunities African markets present, but also the underlying sentiments amongst African businesses and service providers as to what is needed to achieve such growth.
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