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L'Afrique en mouvement
published 21.05.2023

Top 5 sectors of the future in Africa

1) Agribusiness

With 60% of arable land uncultivated, Africa is a land of opportunity for the agribusiness sector.  However, many countries in sub-Saharan Africa are often blamed for the underdevelopment of agro-industry: the under-exploitation of arable land and a delay in mechanisation of the agricultural sector are to blame. 


A World Bank report asserts that agribusiness has the potential to be a trillion dollar industry by 2030. With agriculture and livestock accounting for 23% of the continent's GDP and employing nearly 55% of the working population, governments and private players have made agribusiness a priority. 


OBARA Capital, the leading African hedge fund, has invited African states to invest strategically in this area. According to them, "(...) investing in agribusiness in Africa is an effective investment in its development". By 2050, a study by the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation) estimates that a cumulative investment of USD 9,000 billion will be needed to feed the world. 

2) Real estate

Africa's population is expected to double by 2050 to about 2 billion

According to the UN, the African population is expected to double by 2050 to about 2 billion. This demographic explosion will therefore: 


1) considerably increase the need for infrastructure and 


2) develop ever larger urban areas in the major metropolises. These two phenomena are leading African and foreign property developers to take a closer interest in this market, whether for commercial, tourist or business property. Large cities are the priority targets for investors and developers. For example, the Duval Group, established since 2010 on the continent, is a heavyweight in the real estate sector in French-speaking West Africa. In Benin, the Group is involved in the construction of 20,000 homes as well as various state buildings.


3) Technology / Digital

Driven by mobile telephony and information and communication technologies (ICT), Africa is in the midst of a digital transition. This technological revolution is of course uneven among African countries and regions, and strong disparities remain (particularly in sub-Saharan Africa). However, this sector generates jobs at all levels: from telephone repairmen to telecommunications engineers, from telephone credit salesmen to computer developers. Governments have understood the importance of developing this promising sector. They are investing in higher education and in the field of technology, particularly to make up for the lack of skills. According to the IFC (International Finance Corporation), 230 million jobs in sub-Saharan Africa will require digital skills by 2030, and the market for digital training is expected to be worth nearly 130 billion euros. 

Nigeria has a head start in the ICT sector, accounting for 82% of the market alone and representing a large concentration of digitally trained talent. 820 million from the European Union to develop its digital economy: part of this funding will be used to launch a programme to train one million developers.


Finally, organisations such as the French Development Agency (AFD) or innovation organisations such as AfriLabs and Afric'innov are supporting tech companies in Africa. Recent years have seen the success of the programmes launched by these organisations, particularly with the appearance of new digital services, ranging from local Uber to mobile payment systems.

4) Fashion

The African fashion sector has evolved from an industry marked by local and artisanal designs to an international industry that has become a major source of inspiration for many designers around the world. Increasingly, African designs are attracting attention for their originality, authenticity and great diversity. As an example, the Institut Français de la Mode and Birimian - the first investment company dedicated to luxury brands of African culture - have announced the launch of "IFM-Birimian Accelerator x Africa", an acceleration programme for designers from the continent to access the international scene thanks to financing and support from industry experts for 10 months. For this first edition, designers from Ghana, Côte d'Ivoire, Rwanda, Burkina Faso and South Africa have been selected.


In recent years, there has been a proliferation of events celebrating African fashion, from Lagos Fashion Week to South African Fashion Week. We are undoubtedly witnessing a collective awareness: the African creative scene is developing internationally, accompanied by various programmes or investment mechanisms. 


5) Cinematography

The film sector in Africa has experienced a monumental boom over the last 10 years, which has resulted in the creation of "film festivals" in Africa and the nomination of feature films at the Cannes Film Festival. With nearly 2,500 films produced each year, Nollywood - the Nigerian film industry and the world's second largest film industry - has become a major player in this boom and reflects the internationalisation of this sector in Africa. If it generates "only" $5 billion compared to $12 billion in the United States in 2019, the Covid-19 crisis has accelerated things

Other international players such as Netflix or Canal+ are also promoting African cinema around the world, notably through programmes launched by Canal+ or sections dedicated to African productions on Netflix.


These five booming sectors reflect the transformation of the African continent, and above all the multitude of opportunities that lie ahead.

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