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Osprey's Sub-Sahara Initiative

Africa is a continent of amazing cultural and economic diversity that’s undergoing rapid change. With a consumer base of almost a billion people, economic growth has averaged over 5 percent in the past decade. Most of the continent has already rebounded from the global economic recession and is on the move again.  

While news bureaus tend to focus on its serious challenges, little attention is paid to Africa’s developing economies, and their potential for transformative change.

More than half the population still lives on a dollar a day or less, but the other half does not, and they are hungry for new products and services. Even among the poor, doors are opening -- many for the first time. 

Markets within the continent are highly stratified due to economic, political and demographic drivers. Some regions are seeing sustained, record growth while others are lagging.  Multinational companies are entering the market in record numbers.

Growth is strongest in regions where economic reform and political stability stimulate business development.  Mobile wireless technology is creating opportunities in mobile banking, agriculture and fishing, and health and human services, among others. 

Rural farmers are using cell phones to manage their supply chains. In remote areas people are getting their first cell phones and using them to conduct financial transactions. People without electricity, modern transportation, or even fixed-line phones, are tapping into a global banking grid, moving from an informal cash culture to a “debit and credit” culture, sending and receiving money from inside and outside their own countries.

A recent London Business School study found that a 10% increase in cell phone use contributes to a six-tenths percent increase in GDP. As the telecom industry expands, it is spawning new markets and new opportunities. With that come new business challenges and responsibilities that must be addressed.

Emergent technologies are making it possible for companies to meet opportunities in African markets. But technology alone is rarely the key. Thriving markets depend on a blend of technology with new ways of doing business.  Companies operating in the region are striving to build new capabilities to build vital competitive advantages.

Osprey's work in the region began in 2007 and has been aimed at building advantages for our clients enabled by optimizing service systems.  In the process, we intend to continue raising awareness of Africa’s promising business potential and its vast reservoir of talent. 

Get in touch with us for more information about Osprey's African alliance programs.

Return to Osprey's Developing Markets section.