African Industries speed-up continental investments to $10bn- BCG Report

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  • Dangote Group, Nigerian Breweries, top list

By Franklin Ocheneyi 

“A new report released by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG)  and  titled “Pioneering One Africa: African Corporations Trail-Blazing Across the Continent” showed that between 2006–2007 and 2015–2016, the average annual amount of African foreign direct investment—money that African companies invested in African countries—nearly tripled, from $3.7 billion to $10 billion.”

In the report, BCG noted that while fragmentation in many forms remains a major problem for businesses in Africa, economic integration is not only taking place, but also gathering speed; an improvement that is primarily driven from within the continent and led by African corporate entrepreneurs.

The report identifies 150 companies which consist of 75 Africa-based companies and an equal number of Multinational Corporations (MNCs) that have established impressive track records in Africa and are contributing to a more integrated Africa.

They are overcoming longstanding geographic, geopolitical, transportation, and infrastructure

barriers to drive the economic integration of the continent.

This list includes six companies based in Nigeria namely Dangote Group, Globacom, Guaranty Trust Bank, Jumia, Nigerian Breweries and United Bank for Africa.

The MNCs are a global group, with France, the United Kingdom, and the United States most strongly represented as well as a dozen MNCs from China, India, Indonesia, Qatar, and the UAE.

It also highlights eight factors that explain how these companies are making an impact which include the following:

They actively expand their footprint across several African countries; they dare to make significant Greenfield investments; they use Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) as a way to accelerate their expansion and they build strong African brands.  They innovate locally to adapt to the African consumers, etc.

Commenting on the report, Patrick Dupoux, BCG Senior Partner and co-author of the report said: “Fragmentation in Africa is much greater than anywhere else in the world, and it adds significantly to the economic challenges facing countries that typically lack the critical mass to compete globally. Despite these barriers, we see more signs of economic integration with each passing month, quarter, and year. The primary drivers come from within the continent, led by African business. Africa invests more in Africa, Africa trades more with Africa, and Africans travel more to Africa.”

Lisa Ivers, BCG Partner and co-author of the report also added: “If the past decade has demonstrated anything, it’s that these companies are masterful at overcoming adversity. They’ve built impressive track records of creating value for themselves and advancing the development of the continent—and its many economies. They know that continuing to drive the integration of the African markets where they do business is one key way to pave the road to greater success.”

The report further noted that  the average number of intraregional M&A deals each year also jumped (from 238 to 418), with African-led transactions representing more than half of all African deals in 2015.

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