Kenya’s Konza Techno City has been classified among five ‘boom towns’ in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Despite the recent prediction by the World Bank that economic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa will slow in 2015, the region is still home to one of the fastest-growing middle class in the world.
As a result, progressive African entrepreneurs and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have vast opportunities on the continent.
According to Charles Brewer, the Managing Director of DHL Express Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), the agricultural sector provides prospects for entrepreneurs.
It is Africa’s largest economic sector representing 15 per cent of the continent’s total GDP and generating more than $100 billion per year.
It is estimated that more than 60 per cent of the globe’s available and vacant land is situated in sub Saharan Africa, which suggests that the sector still offers incredible opportunities for growth.
Another industry seeing significant growth is the banking sector, which has grown extensively over the last decade and has become a substantial player in emerging-market.
Mr Brewer says that the rising middle class and ‘unbanked’ African consumers should continue to drive the industry.
“Other industries experiencing growth and offering prospects on the continent include technology, consumer goods and telecommunications,” he says.
In addition to these thriving industries, Brewer identifies five unexpected ‘boom towns’ and cities that are enjoying growth on the back of these industries, therefore providing opportunities for African businesses.
SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA BOOM TOWNS
Bobo-Dioulasso, in Burkina Faso is blossoming due to substantial growth in the food and agriculture sector.
Many small and medium enterprises are setting up factories to locally produce goods for both the domestic and export markets, with the main products being fruits, cereals, cotton, vegetable oil, soap and other artisanal products.
Ebène, Mauritius: This is an upcoming technology hub which, due to its advanced infrastructure and facilities, has attracted many financial institutions and international legal firms.
Mbarara, Uganda: Mbarara is a growing industrial town which is 280km from Uganda’s capital Kampala and is located in the centre of the dairy farming district.
As a result of its location, favourable climate and abundant land, it has attracted investors involved in the manufacture of dairy products.
Breweries and beverage companies are also expanding to the area.
Farafenni, the Gambia: Situated on the north bank of the Gambia River, about 120km inland from the capital Banjul, the town is home to numerous banks and insurance firms.
It is experiencing fast growth mainly due to its geographical location on the main road between Dakar and Casamance (the southern area of Senegal), and its close proximity to the ferry to cross the Gambia River.
Konza Techno City, Kenya: Konza has just finished its infrastructure phase.
The new technology city is situated 60km southeast of Nairobi and will focus on four economic sectors namely, education, life sciences, telecommunications and business process outsourcing.
It is predicted that it will significantly stimulate technology spending, investment and growth in Kenya.