70 business ideas for investing in Africa!


70 business ideas for investing in Africa!

“God says when. I execute”– Khalid Abdul Muhammad (one of the greatest souls to ever live)

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The beautiful motherland is Africa. We are just at the onset of our sweet journey to economic prosperity. The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement signed on 1 January 2021 is the largest globally in terms of the number of participating countries (55) since the formation of the WTO. The agreement initially requires members to remove tariffs from 90% of goods, allowing free access to commodities, goods, and services across the continent. The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa estimates that the agreement will boost intra-African trade by 52 per cent by 2022. Can you see the money signs? I certainly can. So for those wise enough not to miss out and live in Africa or are looking for a business to do whilst living in the diaspora – here are 70 ways you could make money in Africa!

1. Importing and Exporting goods

Brown coffee beans

Africa is home to over 1.3 billion people (16% of the world population). According to UN estimates, the population of Africa may reach 2.49 billion by 2050 (about 26% of the world’s total) and 4.28 billion by 2100 (about 39% of the world’s total). Africa has the reverse trend to Western nations in which she has a very young population. As the volume of middle-class Africans grows, so will the demand for consumer and commercial goods.

It doesn’t have to be hard to choose what to trade. When you are there, think about what you needed, but you could not find and start there. However, do your research as for some of those items, there may not be enough demand in Africa for them at the moment.

Also, remember, it may also be more lucrative to export goods out of Africa into other nations. For example, are there typical African food and household items that are sparse for people in the diaspora to find? You could also consider processing a resource before exporting it and creating a “Made in Africa” product. For example, we have all seen the boom of Shea Butter and Black Soap in the West in the past five years. What other herbs, fruits, and minerals could you process to add value and export it?

Remember to get any necessary licenses, especially when importing food and cosmetic products. Consider the expiry date of any items you are importing and try to find a friend in customs if possible. Your network is your net worth and all that. 

Here is a list of some products you could import and export from Africa:

  • Oil and Gas Equipment
  • Fertilisers & Agricultural Chemicals 
  • Agricultural Equipment
  • Coal and Consumable Fuels
  • Industrial Gases
  • Construction Materials
  • Metal & Glass Containers
  • Paper Packaging
  • Metals & Mining (Copper, Gold, Precious Metals & Minerals, Silver, Steel, etc.)
  • Forest Products
  • Electrical Equipment
  • Construction Machinery & Heavy Trucks 
  • Agricultural & Farm Machinery 
  • Printing Supplies
  • Office supplies
  • Security & Alarm devices
  • Auto Parts
  • Luggage
  • Leisure products (Golf clubs, Snooker tables, BBQ Grills, Jacuzzis etc.)
  • Gym Equipment
  • Cosmetic tools and devices (LED Masks, Electronic face brushes etc.) 
  • Tires and Rubber
  • Consumer electronics (Drones, laptops, phones etc.)
  • Home furnishings
  • Household appliances 
  • Apparel, Accessories & Luxury Goods
  • Footwear
  • Textiles
  • Healthcare supplies
  • Personal care products

2. Provide a service

I would not advise anyone to have a business in Africa and not have their eyes on it for most of the time. So this is for people that are based in Africa and are thinking of businesses to start. Always play to your strengths, and don’t chase the money. The money chases quality, so focus on ensuring the service you provide is in demand and of high quality; inevitably, people will flock to you.

Here are some services that you may consider:

  • Oil and Gas Services
  • Oil & Gas Storage & Transportation
  • Agricultural solutions
  • Residential and Commercial Construction
  • Manufacturing of packaging (try to be green, please)
  • Mining
  • Aerospace and Defense consulting
  • Commercial printing
  • Environmental services (Fumigation, Refuse Collection etc.)
  • Fertilisers & Agricultural Chemicals
  • Security and Alarm installation
  • Cybersecurity Solutions (we need you in Nigeria, lol!)
  • HR & Employment services
  • Research & Consulting services
  • Air/Road Freight & Logistics
  • Trucking
  • Airport services
  • Marine services
  • Auto services (Mechanic, car wash etc.)
  • Leisure services
  • Education services (Education is key for social mobility, everyone should be training and passing knowledge to someone – especially children)
  • Marketing and advertising services
  • General merchandise stores
  • Apparel retail
  • Home improvement retail
  • Restaurant
  • Brewers and Distillers
  • Spa and Cosmetic services
  • Health services
  • Fintech solutions
  • Insurance services
  • Software solutions
  • Publishing
  • Movies, music and entertainment
  • Broadcasting
  • Event services
  • Water utility services
  • Energy trading
  • Cosmetic manufacturing
  • Real estate services

Now don’t say I’ve not got your back! Each week, I am doing a deep dive into the ideas listed here, so please subscribe or go to the How to Invest page on the website. Let me know in the comments if I missed anything. Some of you may already have access to these skills and products wherever you are right now. So think about adding value and not wasting time. Get yourself on trade websites, network, and sell!