BY MADUABUCHI EFEGADI
A three year projection of an entrepreneurship rise across Africa is gearing business leaders in Nigeria, South Africa, Ghana, Ethiopia, among others, to take position in readiness to embrace the curve, it has emerged.
Seventy percent of business leaders say they expect the entrepreneurial surge across the continent during the three-year period, but 15 percent said the increase would be dramatic, according to new research by World Mobile.
African business leaders say the entrepreneurial spirit take-off across the continent would come on the back of an improved environment for business and greater political stability, the research for the blockchain-based mobile network operator indicated.
However, Africa, on a regional scale, is the least connected on the global information superhighway. To date, the continent has the lowest number of Internet connections—only 22 percent of the continent has access. The continent also has the largest potential for progress. The African Union (AU), with support from the World Bank Group, has set the goal of connecting every individual, business, and government on the continent by 2030.
But Micky Watkins, chief executive officer, World Mobile, said the African Development Bank has estimated that Africa is currently the world’s most entrepreneurial continent, with millions looking to establish businesses.
“The business environment and political stability are important to helping them but crucially there is also the issue of internet connectivity which is vital for most new businesses. It is good to see business leaders are confident but more needs to be done,” Watkins said.
The study was among senior executives from Nigeria, and South Africa, Tanzania, Angola, Botswana, Cameroon, Ethiopia, and Ghana, from companies with combined annual revenues of more than $6.75 billion. One of the key reasons for the increase is the expansion of internet connectivity, with more than half (54 percent) of the business leaders expecting dramatic improvements.
More than nine out of 10 (91 percent) of those interviewed believe Africa’s environment for doing business will improve; while 70 percent are optimistic Western countries will increase their investment in the continent. Nearly two-thirds (65 percent) say greater political stability on the continent is boosting entrepreneurs; while 59 percent say better education will support new entrepreneurs.
World Mobile is helping to revolutionise internet connectivity in sub-Saharan Africa and is already working with the government in Zanzibar where it is launching a unique hybrid mobile network delivering connectivity supported by low altitude platform balloons.
Its blockchain-based network vastly reduces capital expenditure and cuts prices compared to traditional telecom operators and World Mobile is in discussions to expand in Tanzania and Kenya, as well as other territories underserviced by traditional mobile operators.
Watkins said launching new businesses will help to unleash Africa’s potential and raise living standards.