posted by

How to make it in Africa

From renewable energy and technology to manufacturing and natural resources, in terms of investment opportunities, Africa is a continent of abundance. The most recent Global Economic Prospects report, published in January 2016 by the World Bank, shows that last year the African Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew faster (3.4%) than the global average of 2.4%.

The above trend is not a new one. Between 2008 and 2009, during the economic crisis, 47 out of 53 African countries saw their GDPs rise; a scenario applicable to only 2 of 34 countries belonging to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Whilst Africa’s economic progress has not benefited everyone equally, the trend has cautiously given way to a growing African middle class and increased levels of consumer spending.

This makes the continent interesting from an investment point of view, says CEO of Liberty Health, Andrew Schwulst. “More people with greater spending power will fuel the demand for essential services and goods that were once inaccessible to them financially. Healthcare products, solutions and services are a prime example.”

Liberty Health’s African footprint over the past years, illustrates his statement; “Between 2014 and 2015, our customer base in Africa, excluding South Africa, grew by 17%, from 90 000 to 105 000 individuals.” Schwulst says. “A significant growth was recorded in Uganda, with an increase of 36% for the same period.”

Whilst the growing demand for healthcare products and services will primarily be driven by Africans themselves, the international business community will play a strategic role too. “More and more companies are investing in this region due to its great customer potential,” Schwulst says. “What does this have to do with Africa’s health sector? International business people want the services they are used to at home, this includes office space, transport and access to quality healthcare services.”

Schwulst’s statements resonate with the 2015 World Investment Report by the UN Conference on Trade and Development. The data reveals that in 2015, services accounted for 48% of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows into Africa. Natural resources came second (31%), followed by manufacturing (21%).

“That is why we at Liberty Health will continue to focus on the African continent – we believe it is where the future lies,” Schwulst concludes.

ENDS

387

Distributed by Be-cause Integrated Communications

Beverley Houston

Beverley@be-cause.co.za

021 447 1082 / 082 824 8617

Distributed on behalf of Liberty Health

Lynette Erasmus: Head of Marketing, Health

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.