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The curious case of entrepreneurship in Africa

The curious case of entrepreneurship in Africa

For the last couple of years, we’ve been hearing amazing remarks about the entrepreneurship rise in Africa. More specifically we’ve been hearing stories of Nigerian, Kenyan, Ghanaian, and South African entrepreneurs much more than anybody else.

In this article, we would like to focus on the main reasons why entrepreneurship found a new wind on the African continent and why so many African products are slowly but surely finding their way towards the global market.

Let’s just take a look when most Africans were forced to think of new ways to lead their lives than relying on imports.

The blackout

In early 2015, the Nigerian government enacted its currency control regime in order to somehow adjust their exchange rates in accordance to what they needed the economy to reach for that year, or to just have enough from the national budget in that specific fiscal year.

This created a lot of bottlenecks in the currency exchange system, making it almost impossible for regular individuals to access global markets through the local Naira. This was due to heavily controlled exchanges. The only real opportunity for online shopping or placing orders was using a different currency, but the majority of Nigerians were using Naira at that time.

According to metrics and guidelines from the Nigerian forex trading regulation for brokers, this was a time when the government had absolute authority over what would happen to the local currency. Thankfully, it was not too harsh for the locals and Naira did not experience too much inflation.

But here’s the deal. Due to the exchange market being off-limits, the only thing that Nigerians could do was hopefully trade based on cash. Therefore, many people opted for local alternatives in order to produce goods and found companies.

In fact, according to a story provided on Harvard Business this was the perfect time for local business. An example is brought of a local painter manufacturing his own paint with local raw resources and actually making it less toxic and far superior to the imported version.

Moments like these can be found all over Africa, not only in Nigeria.

The digital storm

No matter how we look at raw resources or manufacturing, it’s quite obvious that the strength of African entrepreneurship lies completely in the digital industry. The production, adoption, and improvement of digital products in Nigeria is simply too much to ignore.

The most development we have seen so far was from 3 countries: Nigeria, South Africa, and Ghana.

Ghana is a peculiar case as it’s recognized as the internet center of Africa, which makes it the most likely to produce some new products. It did at some point focus on improved software or service providing programs such as project management systems and video editing software, but it quickly got taken over by Nigerian and South African blockchain entrepreneurs.

In 2017 a completely new wave of newly enriched African youth hit the continent. The cryptocurrency boom quickly overtook most people’s lives, making some rich, while making others bankrupt.

Those that managed to place smart trades during the crypto market boom later started to create their own platforms, adopting the blockchain technology for local companies like banks, financial companies, and even government agencies.

The future of African entrepreneurship

The most likely route that African entrepreneurship will take is the replacement of international brands with locally manufactured ones.

The main reason is that there is always demand if an international brand decides to enter an African market. Usually, there’s not much profit to be found based on statistics, but if they’re ready to invest millions, then there’re plans to make billions.

We might soon see the replacement of international fashion brands with locally manufactured ones and then finally a replacement of daily necessities.

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