Spanish companies shouldn’t wait any longer to enter the African markets: some of the countries with strongest economic growth and most attractive opportunities are in that continent.
First reason: Emergence of the middle class
This large area offers one of the biggest emerging markets, with more than one billion inhabitants who nowadays are open to the rest of the world. The emergence of a middle class, mainly urban, comes together with new needs related to food, housing, clothing, communication or mobility. To succeed in this continent, companies have to know how to satisfy these new needs of new consumers.
UN predicts that by 2050 there will be 2.5 billion Africans, one quarter of the global population, and also the youngest. The next megacities will bloom in this continent.
Second reason: Africa will be the upcoming factory of the world
Its abundant and young workforce makes Africa a serious candidate to compete with Asia for global manufacturing leadership. The increase of salaries in China is already leading to relocation of factories, mainly in countries benefiting from trade preferences with OECD or other African countries. For example, this year, in Ghana, the subsidiary of the Nissan Group has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to become the first automobile manufacturer to assemble vehicles in that country.
Furthermore, the high potential of renewable energies in Africa, and the emergence of middle classes would drive the development of manufacturing industries, closer to the places where consumers are. The ecological evolution of the continent becomes, in this sense, an opportunity for industrialization.
Finally, new technologies will allow this continent to skip stages of development and to speed up the convergence of industrial and service activities with the rest of the world.
Third reason: Geographic proximity
Spain is the European country closest to Africa, just 15 km from its south coast. Through the Strait of Gibraltar, Spain is the link between the two continents. It’s an obligatory route for maritime shipping. This fact is an advantage for the establishment of Spanish companies and products in Morocco and Northern Africa, for goods transit between both continents. Also, trade relations between Spain and Golf of Guinea by way of the Canary Islands have been reinforced, with fast growth in exports (more than 50% compared to 2010).
In 2016, 40,000 Spanish companies exported goods to Sub-Saharan Africa, focused in South Africa, Nigeria, Angola, Equatorial Guinea, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya and Morocco.
Situation of foreign investments in Africa
According to El Pais, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Guinea and Egypt are the emerging countries most growing in 2019. The top investor countries towards Africa nowadays are the USA with 57 $ billion, UK with 55 $ billon, France with 49 $ billion and China with 40 $ billion.
These countries are taking advantage of opportunities opened by the growth of African economies. A growing consumer market and global factory barely 15 ks away from Spain. We should start exploring these markets now, before our competition does!