Doing Business in Africa-Lucrative Opportunities You Can Explore In This Huge And Growing Market (Part 2) By Mark Darko

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Last week’s article highlighted four major challenges confronting the African continent and the opportunities therein for smart investors and entrepreneurs.

In this week’s discussion, we will identify three additional opportunities investors looking at the direction of Africa can give serious consideration to.

Here we go!

Unemployment

With one of the world’s youngest populations, Africa’s large and growing pool of unemployed labour is one of its biggest problems.

Young people, many of who are physically and mentally capable, cannot find the jobs they need to earn a decent income for their upkeep and basic survival.

Depending on whose figures you’re looking at, the unemployement rate on our continent is huge (up to 50 percent)

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Since jobs must exist before people can be employed, does it mean that there are no jobs in Africa?

Of course not!

In fact, Africa’s economy has been growing steadily for over a decade and six of the ten fastest growing economies in the world are in Africa.

A growing economy is often a clear sign that more jobs are being created. However, the main problem with the job market in Africa is that it is largely disorganized. It is quite difficult for businesses and employers to find potential employees with the right skills, education and experience for the positions they want to fill.

To a considerable degree, Africa’s unemployment problem has to do with information sharing rather than total unavailability of jobs.

Several smart Africans are already rising to the challenge of solving our continent’s unemployment problems. In Kenya for example, three ambitious entrepreneurs started M-Kazi (now defunct), a mobile phone-based job recruitment service that allows job seekers to get information about available job vacancies and helps employers to target the right talents.

This SMS-based information service is used by thousands of Kenyans on basic mobile phones with no internet capability which are still very popular in many parts of Africa.

In Nigeria, Jobberman.com, which was started by three university undergrads in 2009, has become Nigeria’s Number One job search and recruitment portal.

In a country where more than 40 million able-bodied people are unemployed, Jobberman is helping millions of people to find their dream jobs.

Seeing the huge potentials in this business model, a New-York based fund with investments in Facebook and LinkedIn became an investor in Jobberman.com in 2011… a little less than three years after it started!

The service now has a subsidiary in Ghana and plans to roll out across Africa in the near future.

Apart from providing critical information services that help employers and potential employees to find each other, there is also another angle to the unemployment problem in Africa – unemployability.

Many of the people looking for jobs on our continent do not have the required education, training, skills and experience that make them desirable for employment. Businesses and entrepreneurs who can offer solutions to this problem in the form of skill acquisition programs, education and training are very likely to enjoy huge benefits.

Health

Despite having less than 15 percent of the world’s population, Africa alone accounts for nearly 24 percent of all diseases that occur in the world.

Apart from poor access to essential medicines and vaccines, low quality healthcare, malnutrition, and poverty, our continent’s tropical (warm) climate favours the breeding of disease vectors (like mosquitoes which cause malaria).

In addition to these factors, the rise of chronic diseases like heart attacks, cancer, respiratory diseases and diabetes is causing more deaths in Africa every year.

According to a recent WHO Report, infectious diseases are the leading causes of sickness and death in developing regions like Africa.

Of these infectious diseases, malaria, HIV/AIDS, pneumonia, tuberculosis, diarrhoeal diseases, and measles make up more than 90 percent of over 10 million disease-related deaths that occur in Africa every year. Most of these diseases can be treated with the right drugs.

Africa’s serious disease problem has led to a huge and rapidly growing demand for drugs, medicines and other pharmaceutical products.

The size of Africa’s pharmaceutical market is expected to reach nearly $45 billion by end of 2021 and entrepreneurs are already taking advantage of this huge opportunity.

Both giant drug manufacturing companies (inside and outside Africa) and small neighbourhood pharmacies are reaping huge benefits while they help to fight and reduce Africa’s huge disease burden.

Education

The standard of education in many parts of Africa has deteriorated very badly. Poor access to quality education at all levels – from basic primary education to university – is another serious and nagging problem across Africa.

The poor quality of government education and low investment in the education sector has put it in a state of crisis in many African countries.

Because many Africans understand that education is one of the few bridges out of poverty, millions of poor families on the continent are desperate to find good schools for their children. However, the existing schools and training facilities are both unaffordable for many people and not even enough to cater to the needs of Africa’s large and rapidly growing population.

To solve the problem of inadequate opportunities for affordable quality education, some entrepreneurs on our continent have come up with interesting solutions.

Omega Schools, based in Ghana, is a chain of low-cost private schools that offers basic primary education to children in poor families for an incredibly low and affordable fee (less than $1 a day per student).

Bridge International Schools in Kenya uses a similar low-cost model to provide affordable education to thousands of children in East Africa for less than $5 per month per student. Before these amazing businesses started, it was thought impossible to educate poor people at a profit.

Conclusion

If you want to make money on our continent, you will need to roll up your sleeves and solve a serious problem. The tougher the problems you solve, the more money you are likely to make!

Problems are blessings in disguise and every successful entrepreneur knows this secret.

Don’t fight the problem, fix it!

Market Highlights

✴✴INTERBANK FOREX RATES 💴💰
US$GH¢ Buy 5.9083 Sell 5.9143
GB£GH¢ Buy 7.9532 Sell 7.9624
CHFGH¢ Buy 6.3764 Sell 6.3832
AUD$GH¢ Buy 4.2852 Sell 4.2909
CAD$GH¢ Buy 4.6756 Sell 4.6804
JP¥GH¢ Buy 0.0518 Sell 0.0519
NZDGH¢ Buy 4.1436 Sell 4.1492
ZARGH¢ Buy 0.3761 Sell 0.3765
EU€GH¢ Buy 6.6856 Sell 6.6927
CHN¥GH¢ Buy 0.9256 Sell 0.9265
GH¢CFA Buy 98.0108 Sell 98.1149
GH¢NG₦ Buy 70.0658 Sell 70.0827

CRYPTOCURRENCY MARKET
Bitcoin $57,460.85 🔻2.47%
Ethereum $4,179.62 🔻4.16%
Binance Coin $568.91 🔻4.34%
Solana $220.97 🔼3.73%
Cardano $1.80 🔻4.72%
Ripple $1.04 🔻3.79%
Dogecoin $0.2224 🔻3.48%
Polkadot $39.98 🔻3.30%
Shiba Inu $0.00004354 🔻6.07%
Avalanche $134.47 🔻1.21%

💵Bloomberg USDGHS Cross Rate – *6.1037* (YTD – 🔺️+4.04%)

💰STANBIC BANK FX RATES💵
US$GH¢ Buy 6.0500 Sell 6.2700
GB£GH¢ Buy 8.1445 Sell 8.4896
EU€GH¢ Buy 6.8426 Sell 7.1384
CH¥GH¢ Buy 0.9446 Sell 0.9883

🔼GSE DAILY GAINERS➖%CHANGE➖PRICE
CAL ➡Gh¢0.87 🔼+1.16%
GOIL ➡Gh¢1.82 🔼+1.11%

🔻GSE DAILY LOSERS➖%CHANGE➖PRICE
MTNGH ➡Gh¢1.25 🔻-5.30%
TOTAL ➡Gh¢5.50 🔻-0.36%

〽Inflation rate in Ghana ➡ 11.00% (🔺️+3.77%)

🏦Ghana Reference Rate ➡ 13.47% (🔺️+0.07%)

✳Policy Rate in Ghana ➡ 13.50% (🔽-7.41%)

¶ TREASURY RATES💸
14 – Day Discount Rate 14.4196% Interest Rate 14.5000%
56 – Day Discount Rate 14.1836% Interest Rate 14.5000%
91 – Day Discount Rate 12.1176% Interest Rate 12.4961%
182 – Day Discount Rate 12.3715% Interest Rate 13.1872%
364 – Day Discount Rate 14.0053% Interest Rate 16.2862%
1 Year Fixed Note Interest Rate 16.5672%
2 Year Fixed Note Interest Rate 20.0000%
3 Year Bond Interest Rate 19.0000%
5 Year Bond Interest Rate 18.8000%
6 Year Bond Interest Rate 18.8000%
7 Year Bond Interest Rate 18.1000%
10 Year Bond Interest Rate 19.7500%
20 Year Fixed Rate Bond 20.2000%

🐂GHANA GOV’T EUROBOND RATES 🏦
7 Year Bond Coupon Rate 7.7500%
12 Year Bond Coupon Rate 8.6250%
20 Year Bond Coupon Rate 8.8750%

🛢Average Petrol & Diesel Price Per Litre – Gh¢6.90 (YTD -🔺️+39.39%)

🏧 MARKET INDEXES
*Dow Jones Index🚂⛽ 35,601.98 -268.97 -0.75%
*S&P 500 🏦 4,697.96 -6.58 -0.14%
*Nasdaq Index📲💻 16,057.44 +63.73 +0.40%
* NYSE Composite Index 16,973.96 -143.78 -0.84%
*London FTSE 7,223.57 -32.39 -0.45%
*Germany DAX 16,159.97 -61.76 -0.38%
*Japan NIKKEI 225 29,745.87 +147.21
+0.50%
*Tokyo TOPIX Index 2,044.53 +9.01 +0.44%
*Hong Kong HANG SENG 25,049.97 -269.75 -1.07%
*Shanghai Shenzhen 300 4,890.06 +52.44 +1.08%
*S&P/ASX 200 Index 7,396.55 +17.34 +0.23%
*Bloomsberg EU 500 318.19 -1.41 -0.44%
*France CAC All-Tradable 5,422.04 -26.74 -0.49%
*Dubai DFM General Index 3,257.79 -7.35 -0.23%
*MOEX Russia Index 4,016.47 -77.38 -1.89%
*FTSE/JSE South Africa 63,870.65 -418.07 -0.65%
*Nairobi SE 20 Share 1,893.65 +3.06 +0.16%
*Nigeria SE Main 43,199.27 -86.70 -0.20%
*BBG EMEA World Index 164.16 -0.96 -0.58%
*GSE Composite Index 2,919.56 -81.07 -2.70%
*GSE Financial Index 2,078.89 +1.08 +0.05%

🔼GSE 2021 GAINERS ➖ PRICE ➖ YTD%
FML ➡Gh¢4.05 🔼+275.00%
BOPP ➡Gh¢6.65 🔼+232.50%
GGBL ➡Gh¢1.81 🔼+101.11%
MTNGH ➡Gh¢1.25 🔼+95.31%
TOTAL ➡Gh¢5.50 🔼+94.35%

🔻GSE 2021 LOSERS ➖ PRICE ➖ YTD%
CPC ➡Gh¢0.02 🔻-33.33%
UNIL ➡Gh¢5.89 🔻-28.95%
ACCESS ➡Gh¢3.15 🔻-28.25%
SIC ➡Gh¢0.07 🔻-12.50%
MAC ➡Gh¢5.39 🔻-9.87%

GSE INDEXES ⏸ 2021 YTD RETURNS%
*GSE Composite Index 2,919.56 🔼+50.37%
*GSE Financial Index 2,078.89 🔼+16.61%

💧MUTUAL FUNDS IN GHANA♣️
📈EQUITY FUNDS ➰YTD%
Databank EPAcK 🔼+29.28%
Republic Equity Trust 🔼+22.17%
SAS Fortune Fund 🔼+22.59%

⚖BALANCED FUNDS ⏸ YTD%
EDC Balanced 🔼+30.64%
Databank Bfund 🔼+24.51%
Fidelity Balanced Trust 🔼+21.39%
CCMF 🔼+17.40%
CDH Balanced Fund 🔼+16.02%
CM Fund 🔼+15.52%
Dalex Vision 🔼+9.22%
Plus Balanced Fund 🔼+14.39%
Republic Future Plan Trust 🔼+16.22%
Kiddifund Mutual Fund 🔼+9.90%
UMB Balanced Fund 🔼+9.86%
Databank EdiFund Tier 2 🔼+20.95%

⚙FIXED INCOME FUNDS 🛡YTD%
EDC Fixed Income 🔼+14.25%
Databank Mfund 🔼+17.16%
Fidelity Fixed Income Trust 🔼+16.19%
Financial Independence Fund 🔼+13.49%
Fixed Income Alpha Plus 🔼+16.50%
Nimed Fixed Income Fund Tier 1 🔼+13.50%
Nimed Fixed Income Fund Tier 2 🔼+14.87%
Plus Income Fund 🔼+13.83%
STANLIB Income Fund Trust 🔼+15.61%
Databank EdiFund T1 🔼+17.55%

MONEY MARKET FUNDS ⏱YTD%
SAS Midas Fund 🔼+12.70%
Stanlib Cash Trust 🔼+12.00%
EDC Money Market Fund 🔼+13.19%
Republic Unit Trust 🔼+13.31%

COMMODITIES MARKET
*Brent Crude $/barrel⛽ $78.89 -2.35 -2.89%
*Natural Gas 🏭 $/million BTUS $5.07 +0.16 +3.33%
*Gold 👑 $/troy ounce $1,854.30 -9.70 -0.52%
*Silver 💍 $/troy ounce $24.84 -0.12 -0.46%
*Corn 🌽 $/bushel $577.00 -2.25 -0.39%
*Cocoa 🍫 $/metric ton $2,583.00 -6.00 -0.23%
*Coffee ☕ $/pound $233.40 +4.25 +1.85%
*Sugar🎂 $/pound $19.99 -0.19 -0.94%
*Lumber $/1000 board feet $801.90 +44.90 +5.93%
Rubber USd/100kg $176.20 +3.70 +2.14%

Sources: Bank of Ghana, Bloomberg, GSE, Reuters, Doobia, BBC.

Mark Darko

President (Ghana)-Asian African Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Senator (Ghana)-World Business Angels Investment Forum

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