Packaging, baked goods, affordable housing and more


A point of sale in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. There are considerable prospects in Francophone West Africa for companies to offer their products and services throughout the region.

From manufacturing packaging materials in Malawi to supplying bakery products to Kenyan hotels, here is a selection of potential business opportunities that presented themselves to our office in the third quarter of 2021.

1. Growing market for locally produced fish. The new from Aqua-Spark Aqua Insights The report shows that the continent will consume up to 29 million tonnes of fish per year by 2050, up from 10 million tonnes currently. On the menu is farmed tilapia, a freshwater fish that Aqua-Spark says offers a scalable, sustainable and affordable way to feed the region’s growing population. “Due to overexploitation, wild catches cannot be increased and therefore will not be able to meet the additional demand. We believe that aquaculture production will have to accelerate and have identified tilapia as the fish to do so: it is scalable and it is healthy, sustainable and affordable. Read more: Demand for locally produced fish opens multibillion dollar market in Africa

2. Create regional champions in Francophone West Africa. There are considerable prospects in French-speaking West Africa for companies to offer their products and services throughout the region, says Jean-Marc Savi de Tové, co-founder and managing partner of Adiwale Partners. The countries of the West African Economic and Monetary Union – which all use the CFA franc – include Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo . These countries are relatively small with limited manufacturing capacity and import many products from outside the continent. Companies that have been successful in their home market are therefore well positioned to meet the needs of the region at large. Read more: Opportunities in French-speaking West Africa – testimonials from a private equity investor

3. Packaging of consumer goods in Malawi. Malawian packaging suppliers cannot meet the specific demand and requirements of businesses in the country. According to Victoria Mwafulirwa, founder of agro-industrial Homes Industries, that means companies are turning to imports to find what they need to package their products and prepare them for the market. Mwafulirwa believes that a packaging business would not require a lot of start-up capital to get started. “You don’t have to start big. In the beginning, if someone can just make the required packaging readily available – even through imports – then turn it into a full-fledged factory as the business grows, ”she says. “The demand for packaging is so high and at the moment we are coping with a flawed system, so any way to provide local businesses with what they need is already a start. ” Read more: Opening to deliver packaging materials to Malawi

4. Affordable housing developments in Kenya. The Kenyan government’s affordable housing program is seen as an opportunity for real estate developers to diversify their portfolios, according to a recent report by real estate services group Broll. There has been a limited supply of affordable housing in the recent past, with government projects holding the largest market share of 83% from 2019 to 2021. This is compared to the 17% delivered by private projects. This trend is expected to change over the next two years as private developers become more involved in the provision of affordable housing with the introduction of innovative building technologies. Read more: Incentives make social housing more attractive to the private sector

5. Potential for budget and mid-range hotels. Hotel investment firm Kasada Capital Management sees potential for affordable hotels for Africa’s middle-income population. “We believe this is the time to invest, focusing first on the emerging African middle class, representing 80% of customers to offer them a new, modern and attractive offer at an affordable price while bringing brands and internationally recognized standards in Africa. Africa’s growing middle class will drive demand in the sector. Over the next 10 years, thanks to the African Continental Free Trade Area, we can expect an increase in domestic travel to Africa, ”the company says. Read more: Money-making idea – modern and affordable hotels for the African middle class

6. Nigeria’s tech industry still has considerable room for growth. Start-up investor Olumide Soyombo has invested in more than 30 Nigerian start-ups over the past decade, including Paystack (payments), Piggyvest (savings and investments), Spleet (furnished living spaces) and TeamApt (financial services for underserved). Still, he thinks it’s early days for the market in general. “There is a huge group of people who will be doing online transactions in the years to come. When Gen Z – those born with tablets in hand – reach working age, they won’t go to an agency to open a bank account. They will shop online and when they become merchants, they will sell online. Read more: Backer Early Paystack discusses investment opportunities in African tech start-ups

7. Unmet demand for camel milk in Somaliland. Camel milk is an essential product for consumers and businesses in Somaliland. Evidence from the research organization RTI International shows that dairy companies see great economic potential in the camel milk market and are actively seeking support from producers to expand their businesses. Demand for the product is increasing – with camel milk kiosks selling the product almost daily – thanks to its nutritional properties and the camel’s unique ability to produce milk in times of drought. Read more: Growth potential of camel milk in Somaliland

8. Industrialization of cassava in East Africa. Agriculture-focused private equity firm Pearl Capital Partners sees potential for growth in the cassava value chain in Uganda. The company recently invested $ 2.5 million in cassava producer Pura Organic Agro Tech Ltd. The funding will be used to set up a vertically integrated cassava processing plant to produce high quality cassava flour, tapioca starch (an industrial input used in the packaging industry) and sago ( an edible starch delicacy popular in India). “Uganda, and East Africa as a whole, imports almost all of its starch requirements. There is a great market opportunity to replace these imports and bring in new knowledge and technologies to produce cassava starch and sago, ”notes Wanjohi Ndagu, partner at Pearl Capital Partners. Read more: Investor identifies gaps in supply of cassava products

9. The rapid urbanization of African cities is a lucrative opportunity for food producers. The center of gravity of African agrifood systems is shifting inward and into cities, suggests the State of Agriculture in Africa Report 2020. Farmers who depend on overseas exports are likely to benefit from more markets. close to home. The fastest growing urban food markets are processed, prepared and perishable foods – especially dairy, poultry, meat, fish and horticulture. Read more: Urbanization drives increasing demand for food

10. Supply of frozen bakery products to hotels in Kenya. The lack of a constant supply of quality products means that many hotels, restaurants and catering businesses depend on expensive imported products. It is estimated that last year Kenya imported 2.5 billion food items, many of which can be produced locally. Hotels in Kenya are increasingly outsourcing activities such as baking, as large kitchens take up space that could be more cost-effectively used for beds and conference rooms. Steven Carlyon, president of SimpliFine Foods, explains that Kenyan hotels import large quantities of frozen baked goods – such as bread and croissants – from Europe and the Middle East, as there are very few local companies producing consistent quality frozen bakery products on a large scale. Read more: Fries, croissants and frozen vegetables: Gaps in Kenya’s food industry


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