Nine business ideas for implementation in Africa: poultry farming, cannabis, professional training, and more
We present to your attention nine business opportunities highlighted by leading African entrepreneurs and investors.
1. Increasing demand for poultry in Angola and Mozambique.
"Poultry is a big market, and in the context of Africa, chicken is at the top of the list," says Henri de Villeneuve, founder of SAPA. This investment mechanism supports the entry of European agribusiness groups into the markets of Eastern and Southern Africa. He notes that producers must be integrated and control the value chain to achieve success in poultry farming, starting with feed. The cost of feed is often about 70% of the price of chicken. "Secondly, do not grow chicken for local consumption near the sea because you may be affected by imports from Brazil or other countries. Instead, grow chicken away from the coast, as high domestic transportation costs create a barrier to entry for competitors," explains de Villeneuve. "It also helps to be aware of abnormal situations or gaps in increased demand. In Angola, everyone wants chicken for Christmas. They will charter a 747 to import chicken to meet local demand during this period; if you know this and are ready to act, this can be a great investment opportunity."
2. Vocational training in Ivory Coast.
"From the employer's point of view, there is still a huge gap between traditional theoretical training and business needs," explains Nuss Bih, who oversees the portfolio of the investment company Investisseurs & Partenaires in Côte d'Ivoire. "Our investments in education are aimed at companies that focus their training on obvious market needs. We have invested in technological solutions that can meet this need on a large scale (for example, our investment in the Etudesk professional online learning platform). However, we are also aware that professional training still requires personal training. We have invested in a number of enterprises with a physical presence, such as the Institut de Management, de Gestion et d'Hôtellerie (IMGH) and the Centre des Métiers Michèle Yakice
3. Production of cannabis products in South Africa.
From cannabis products to pharmaceutical ingredient exports, the nascent cannabis industry in South Africa presents several investment opportunities, according to Pierre van der Hoeven, CEO of SilverLeaf Investments. Key areas of opportunity are cannabis cultivation followed by extraction of the oil from the plant, testing laboratories, and retail and branding of CBD products. There are also opportunities to invest in the production of cannabis pharmaceutical products (not a very developed area in South Africa), but this requires a license from the South African Medical Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA), which is lengthy and expensive process.
4. Cohabitation of young professionals in Lagos and beyond.
Co-living is a living model in a residential community that usually offers a separate bedroom with shared common areas. Usually, cohabitation is understood as an arrangement in which three or more unrelated persons will live in one private house, but this has led to large developers now creating apartment buildings with the possibility of sharing housing with short-term or flexible rent. Some of the benefits included may be stylishly furnished common areas, first-class amenities, as well as services such as cleaning and security. Cohabitation also helps to meet new people and make friends. "We think there is a huge untapped opportunity for coexistence in general on the continent, but especially in Lagos," says Gregoire Schwebig, founder of AfricaWorks.
5. Export of niche consumer goods (FMCG) from West Africa to the USA.
The Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) provides sub-Saharan Africa with duty-free access to the U.S. market for many goods. Michael Clements, head of the West African Trade and Investment Center, funded by USAID, believes that exporters should consider niche consumer goods such as dried mango, various fruit jams, sugar-free chocolate, and canned catfish. "West Africans living in the United States love canned catfish, and they fly off the shelves; there are not so many American companies producing this product," he notes.
6. Production of essential oils in East Africa.
Maxima Nsimenta, CEO of Livara, a Ugandan brand that produces natural and organic products for hair, skin, and body, believes that there is potential for processing essential oils in East Africa. "We import quite a lot of essential oils, but they can be produced locally. We grow flowers in Uganda and Kenya, but mainly for export to Amsterdam and Europe. We do not make unnecessary efforts by using parts of these plants to extract essential oils. For example, lavender is a beautiful flower that is very rich in oils; we could extract the essential oil. A small bouquet of lavender is sold in Uganda for about 15,000 shillings (about $4); however, 20 ml of lavender oil will cost about $40. Essential oils are required in many local industries. They are used in baked goods, beverages, and everyday cosmetics such as lotions, creams, hair products, and perfumes. Some small businesses, such as the production of scented candles, also use essential oils."
7. Alternative protein from insects. Several entrepreneurs in Africa have introduced insects as an alternative form of protein. In Kenya, Ecodudu produces organic fertilizers and animal feed from insect larvae, while the Rwandan company Magofarm also produces animal feed proteins from the black soldier fly. Ghanaian company Legendary Foods specializes in human consumption and sells edible insects to substitute meat and fish.
8. Packaging materials for the horticultural industry of Ethiopia.
"In general, there are huge opportunities for import substitution in Ethiopia, as an extensive list of goods is imported from abroad. Packaging is a great example in our sector," explains Jaycee Jones, managing director of the Perennial Foods Group, an agro-industrial company operating in Ethiopia. "In the context of the growing horticulture industry, there is a dependent market of countless companies that currently import all their packaging (boxes, liners, bags, and baskets). By having quality local suppliers, Ethiopian companies can avoid using precious foreign currency and can significantly reduce the carbon footprint of their packaging."
9. Private institutions for the care of the elderly in Ghana.
"Many parents in Ghana are lonely at an advanced age," says businesswoman Leticia Osafo-Addo. "And there are very few official institutions for the care of the elderly." Osafo-Addo, who trained as an anesthesiologist and therapist in Germany before returning to Ghana, is the founder and managing director of Samba Foods, a food company listed on the alternative board of the Ghana Stock Exchange. "I think this is an opportunity. When I came back initially, I saw that there were no official care facilities or plans to care for the elderly. Children and offspring who have left the country want - and will pay - for regulated care services for their parents," she says.