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Business Opportunities

North and West Africa is a region with one of the highest growth rates in Africa. The region’s strong growth provides valuable business opportunities for Swedish companies in numerous countries and across a range of different sectors.

Business Sweden’s office in Casablanca has a pronounced experience with companies and projects that involve industrial equipment, health, transport, ICT and energy. Geographically, we cover the all of North and West Africa with the most dynamic and focused markets being Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Nigeria, Ghana, Cote d´Ivoire and Senegal.

 

MOROCCO - Good business conditions and strategic location enable numerous business opportunities but suffers from non-tariff barriers

  • „Ease of doing business - The business environment and ease of doing business is relatively high. Bureaucracy and long procedures are still to be expected.
  • „Business supportive government - The government is currently pursuing many public policies in order to enhance and accelerate domestic industries and simplify the procedures for foreign direct investment and establishment of global companies.
  • „Excellent connectivity - Royal Air Maroc offers direct flights to 27 African capital cities and many international airlines are flying to Morocco on a daily basis.

Some business opportunities;

Transportation and Automotive (infrastructure):

  • Morocco offers a strategic location for export to both Europe, emerging markets in Africa and the Arab world. The industry is the 1st export sector in Morocco, amounting to 16% of the country’s GDP, projected to reach 20% in 2020.
  • Opportunities for: sourcing, distribution, whole value chain..

Energy and Environmental Technology (renewable energy):

  • The Moroccan Government plans to fulfil half of the country’s energy needs with renewable energy resources by 2030 at the same time as it emphasizes a vision to become a leading country on renewable energy and smart cities.
  • Opportunities for: Energy Optimization, renewables…

Telecom and IT (infrastructure and equipment):

  • Morocco plans not only to sustain the progress already made, but also to allow the insertion of Morocco in the global knowledge economy, through amplified and widely distributed integration of ICT across all actors of society: government, businesses and citizens.
  • Opportunities for: installation, deployment, softwares…

Health Care and Consumer goods:

  • With some of the fastest rising incomes in the region until 2030, consumer confidence will be increased along with spending. This growing capacity for non-essential expenditure will create opportunities for premium discretionary goods and services.
  • Opportunities for: Online retail, quality care…

 

ALGERIA -  Success in Algeria requires a strong Local presence due to strong tariff and non tariff-barriers

  • „Political and social stability - Very stable compared to other countries in the region. Good and constantly improving living standards.
  • „Large and young consumer market - With a population of 41 million, the vast majority of is young and 70% are estimated to be under 30 years old. This implies both a growing consumer demand and an increasing workforce.
  • „Well established trade routes with EU - The EU-Algeria Association Agreement sets a framework for the EU-Algerian relationship, including trade. EU is Algeria’s biggest trading partner, absorbing the major part of Algerian international trade.

Some business opportunities;

Health Care and Life Sciences (Equipment):

  • The Ministry of Health is pushing for a complete reorganization of health services, across the country. The project also aims to fill some deficiencies, mainly for specialists, and is backed by huge investments.
  • Opportunities for: Quality care, hospital equipment…

Energy and Environmental Technology (recycling):

  • The government announced long-term energy plans, which includes a Renewable Energy Strategy with an investment of USD 100 billion by 2030. In general there are also opportunities within the country’s large oil and gas sector
  • Opportunities for: Recycling, Waste Management…

Telecom and IT (infrastructure and equipment):

  • Algeria is in need of both ICT infrastructure development and innovations to facilitate a thriving ICT industry. 4G services were licensed and launched rapidly in Algeria in 2016, highlighting the huge potential for advanced mobile services.
  • Opportunities for: installation, deployment…

Industrial infrastructure & mining transportation:

  • The Algerian government has announced a USD 262 billion infrastructure programme which will in order to enhance domestic industries and standards of living. These contracts are often tendered through large public procurement processes.
  • Opportunities for: Road deployment, whole chain value…

 

TUNISIA -  An increasing middle class and a benefical business environment creates potential. The younger generatiion is eager for progress

  • „Ease of doing business - Similar to Morocco, the Tunisian business environment and ease of doing business is relatively high. Bureaucracy and time are still to be expected.
  • „Large middle class - An on-going expansion of the Tunisian middle class, making up one third of all Tunisian households, affects the purchasing power and spending levels to create potentials for consumer products
  • „Free trade agreement with the EU - Negotiations for a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) between the EU and Tunisia were launched in 2015.

Some business opportunities:

Health Care and Life Sciences (Equipment):

  • Five Tunisian healthcare projects, with a combined value of approximately 80 BUSD million have been approved for funding by Kuwait. The Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED) has signed a loan agreement to build four hospitals across Tunisia.
  • Opportunities for: Quality care, hospital equipment…

Telecom and IT (infrastructure and equipment):

  • With a stable increase in Algerian consumption the desire for ICT, mobile- and communications products and services is steadily increasing and expected to become the most robust consumer spending category through to 2030.
  • Opportunities for: installation, deployment…

Agriculture:

  • Tunisia is a worldwide exporter of numerous different food products (olive oil, dates, tomatoes, etc.), and in order to sustain the success of this sector a lot of investments are needed within distribution infrastructure and packaging.
  • Opportunities for: Cereal importation, quality food…

 

NIGERIA -  Being Africa’s largest economy, Nigeria possesses numerous business opportunities

  • „Large economy and consumer base - Nigeria is Africa’s largest economy. The country’s consumer market is expected to represent 15 % of the overall growth in African consumption to 2025.
  • „Growing population and urbanisation - The current population of Nigera (192M) is expected to increase to 265M until 2030. At the same time household income is steadily stabilising and increasing.
  • „Mobile savvy and technology responsive - With over 174 million active mobile lines and a yearly growth of 8.5 % Nigeria is the fastest growing telecom market in Africa.

Some business opportunities:

Telecom and IT (infrastructure and equipment):

  • With a rapid expansion of the IT sector, interesting investment opportunities for Swedish companies are to be found in providing ICT-infrastructures, internet access, engineering services, software and content development, M-commerce, training and other ICT related services.
  • Opportunities for: installation, deployment…

Transportation and Automotive (vehicles):

  • Bearing in mind the expansion of Nigerian B2C and B2B markets, there are a constant need for qualitative and well functioning infrastructure. Means of transport and the construction of it therefore continue to be a promising sector for Swedish companies.
  • Opportunities for: transport, distribution, whole value chain.

Energy and Environmental Technology (renewable energy and recycling):

  • Nigeria has an abundance of various renewable energy resources of which solar, wind, biomass and small hydro power (SHP) are the most ubiquitous. The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) is committed to stimulating investment in renewable energy generation in Nigeria.
  • Opportunities for: Recycling, Waste Management…

Health Care and Life Sciences (Equipment):

  • With the continuously expanding population, Stakeholders in the healthcare sector are addressing the lack of sustainable healthcare in Nigeria. Networking opportunities are actively pursued to yield significant impact in healthcare delivery.
  • Opportunities for: Quality care, hospital equipment…

Retail & Consumer Goods:

  • Increasing demand for retail and consumer products could unleash large opportunities for Swedish companies. With a fast growing middle class, the demand for quality and convenience is gradually growing while the lifestyle and trends of shopping is also changing.
  • To read more about the fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) market in Nigeria and the business opportunities, click HERE. 

 

GHANA - Demand for Heavy machinery and consumer products can be large opportunities for Swedish companies

  • „Public policies facilitating investment - Ghana has recently embarked on an ambitious but achievable reform programme to improve the investment climate for both local and international investors.
  • „Democratic political system - A democratic political system has allowed Ghana to create a necessary foundation for its domestic business environment.
  • „Logistical infrastructure - Ghana’s location in the West African sub-region provides a unique advantage for the development of the country’s infrastructure as a logistical hub for regional and international trade and commerce.

Some business opportunities:

Mining infrastructure and transport:

  • Ghana is holding 3.1 % of the global gold reserves, and about the same percentage of the global production. These vast reserves in combination with continuous low production costs have appealed to international investors, and modern mining equipment is always sought after..
  • Opportunities for: Machinery, equipment…

Agriculture industry:

  • Growth in the Ghanaian agribusiness sector is hampered because the sector is operating in a widely underdeveloped framework. Poor infrastructure and unorganized small-scale production, enable excellent opportunities for productivity-improving products and services
  • Opportunities for: Cereal importation, quality food…

Telecom and IT (infrastructure and equipment):

  • With a rapid expansion of the IT sector, young and dynamic early adopters as citizens, high teledensity, there are interesting investment opportunities for Swedish companies are to be found in providing ICT-infrastructures, internet access, engineering services, software and content development, M-commerce, training and other ICT related services.
  • Opportunities for: installation, deployment…

Retail and Consumer goods:

  • The population in Ghana is increasing with a pace which economic growth has not been able to keep up with. At the same time the proportion of the population living in poverty is declining at the same time as wages are rising. The overall result is a growing demand of consumer products.
  • Opportunities for: Machinery, equipment…

 

CÔTE D'IVOIRE - Strong economic growth aids business opportunities in heavy industry and social progress

  • „Comprehensive public investment - Economic activity driven by public investment in basic infrastructure, in the agribusiness industry (cocoa, rice and cashew processing) and in housing and other services.
  • „Growing population and rising incomes - The current population of Cote d'Ivoire (24,5M) is expected to increase to 34M until 2030. At the same time the household incomes are steadily stabilising.
  • „Business-friendly environment - After periods of unrest and political instability the country has now found a more stable political equilibrium.

Some business opportunities:

Health Care and Life Sciences (Equipment):

  • In contrast to the alarming development between 1985 and 2008, when the share of the population living below the poverty line increased from around 10% to about 49%, Cote d'Ivoire is today by doing much better, and are therefore increasing their investments in education and healthcare.
  • Opportunities for: Quality care, hospital equipment…

Agricultural products and services:

  • With large natural resources and conditions for agriculture, and an underdeveloped infrastructure and productivity, Cote d'Ivoire offers possibilities for Swedish companies to support the mechanization of the agribusiness and supply solutions that supports net export of agricultural goods
  • Opportunities for: Cereal importation, mechanization…

Mining infrastructure and transport:

  • Cote d'Ivoire ’s gold sector is showing a great potential with an annual production growth of 6 %, and a forecasted production of 1.2 million ounces by 2020. Due to a strong project pipeline, low production costs & vast gold reserves, the gold sector continues to attract investments.
  • Opportunities for: Online retail, quality care…

Heavy machinery and equipment are sought after in all sectors

 

SENEGAL - High economic growth and a business-friendly government enable numerous businesses

  • „Political stability - Senegal is one of Sub-Saharan Africa’s most politically stable countries and has experienced three peaceful political transitions and four presidents since its independence from France in 1960.
  • „Strong economic growth – Senegal is the second fastest growing economy in West Africa behind Côte d’Ivoire
  • „Governmental agencies - In most of the larger projects in Senegal related to societal development there are always at least one governmental agency involved in the process, which can easily be contacted.

Some business opportunities:

Telecom and IT (infrastructure and equipment):

  • The regional nature of business requires use of  mobile services, as indicated by a near 90 percent mobile penetration rate. The sector has seen some interest in ICT for advertising and mobile games but has not yet attracted any substantial  investors.
  • Opportunities for: installation, deployment…

Heavy Industry and Construction/Building:

  • The Senegalese government are conducting numerous projects financed by IFIs in relation to the improvement of social infrastructure and city planning, as well as the industry conditions for sectors such as energy and mining.
  • Opportunities for: Road deployment, whole chain value…

Oil, gas and mining infrastructure:

  • Senegal’s ambition to boost oil exploration and investment has drawn the attention of foreign oil, gas and mining companies to the country. The need for productivity-enhancing equipment is therefore substantial.
  • Opportunities for: Machinery, equipment…

 

 

LIFE SCIENCE IN NORTH & WEST AFRICA

 To learn more, read our Life Science report here..

 

AGRIBUSINESS IN WEST AFRICA

Agriculture is one of the most important sectors in a large majority of African countries where about 75% of the continent’s population directly or indirectly depends on agriculture for their daily survival and income. Palm oil and cocoa are two major export goods. Africa’s natural conditions and local resources make it a suitable location for agribusiness. However, unfortunately the full potential is not being reached due to a lack of mechanization and advanced infrastructure in the region. These circumstances therefore indirectly constitute important areas of development and valuable investment opportunities for foreign companies in general and Swedish firms in particular.

To learn more, read our West African Agriculture report here..

 

EMERGING CONSUMER MARKETS IN WEST AFRICA AND MAGHREB

Five out of the ten countries that together represent 75% of Africa's GDP are located in West Africa. Africa is expected to be the home of almost 17% of the world population by 2020, and its consumption per capita is comparable to the one of India or China. This is often being interpreted as good indications suggesting that Africa is a very advantageous place to position oneself in in order to enjoy the benefits from future growth in consumer goods and services sectors. West Africa is also a geographically suitable region for a company to initiate its African journey, bearing in mind similarities that exist between countries in the region and the applicability of common practices across several country borders.

Do not hesitate to read more about the opportunities here.

 

MINING IN WEST AFRICA

With the decline in global prices for metals, West Africa has been negatively affected on both a macro-economic level and a local level though its different mining industries. Price levels create a precarious situation for metal companies in the region leading to divestifications, declining production, and in some cases, even bankruptcy. However, despite the difficult situation, the region’s mining sector still attracts long term investments due to the abundance of minerals and low labor costs. The development of the sector is also underpinned by the fact that it also is highly prioritized on the country’s political agenda. As a result, the sector is expected to continue to be a vital part of the West African GDP in the next coming years.

You can learn more about opportunities in the West African mining sector here.

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Anthonia Adenaya Huard

Acting Manager Acting Manager
+212 637 360 915 / +234 816 033 7088