Multinationals in Africa are growing revenues but losing market share to local rivals is the eye catching headline of a recent Quartz article. Its based on the findings emerging from BCG’s report Dueling with Lions: Playing the New Game of Business Success in Africa. This may have been as unexpected as the competition faced by many of the same firms when they entered the nascent Chinese and Indian markets a couple of decades ago. This article from 2009 certainly seems to imply market share was low hanging fruit waiting to be plucked.
China‘s evolving relationship with the countries on the African continent has been making waves recently. The above (click to enlarge) is an infographic courtesy the South China Morning Post. The One Belt One Road initiative coupled with infrastructure and development investments are grabbing headlines.
Africa’s women are taking to the skies – pictured here is the former CEO of South African Airways, Siza Mzimela and the crew of her newly launched airline, Fly Blue Crane. Meanwhile, Ethiopian Airways made headlines with their first transcontinental flight to Bangkok from Addis Abeba which was fully coordinated by women, from ground staff to pilots.
In technology, the first “Made in Rwanda” computers hit Kigali stores, while women such as Clarisse Iribagiza are setting up shop offering custom designed solutions for mobiles. Other startups to make the headlines include a taxi app from Cote D’Ivoire; a financial help service from South Africa; eco friendly cookstoves from Benin; and, complementarily, coal briquettes from Cameroon. African led innovation has only just begun making global waves.
We’ll end this month’s roundup with the ongoing kerfuffle over the size of the African middle class. Razia Khan of StanChart offers us a balanced perspective on these emerging consumers on the continent, while many others battle out the challenge of defining by income demographics whose incomes are irregular, unpredictable and from a variety of sources. Big names are betting on the outcome.