The simple formula to get rich anywhere is to identify a problem and provide a scalable solution. And Africa has an abundance of problems waiting to make people rich.
The continent may have many problems – unemployment, poverty, hunger, and corruption. Yet, it is endowed with enormous opportunities and unexplored possibilities. If you want to make a lot of money in Africa while making an impact, here are the top 5 problems to start solving – plus a bonus sixth problem at the end.
Before we get to it, it’ll be good if you subscribe to After School TV so that you don’t miss more insightful videos like this.
If you have been following this channel for a while, you know that we are very optimistic about the potential of the agric sector in Africa. I believe the reason is simple. Africa has a vibrant young population and holds about 60 percent of the world’s uncultivated arable land. If Africa can harness this potential, the continent could potentially capture 60 percent of global food production.
In spite of this enormous potential, Africa is the most food-insecure region in the world. The continent is still struggling to feed itself. In 2019, Sub-Saharan Africa spent over $45 billion dollars importing food items.
The rising demand for food in Africa and the growing population provides untapped opportunities for entrepreneurs to create jobs and wealth while solving the problem of hunger, food insecurity and an unhealthy workforce.
According to the IFC, by 2030, Africa’s agriculture and agribusiness markets are expected to triple to reach $1 trillion in value. Africa needs more than $10 billion in new investment annually to achieve the aspired expansion of agricultural output. This signals a huge opportunity for as many people as possible to profit from the agricultural revolution in Africa.
- Unskilled labor
If you have ever run a business in Africa, you’d have found that one of the biggest challenges of businesses is finding talents. The world is changing fast. The skills businesses and organizations need is also evolving. Unfortunately, the workforce is not adapting to the market need at a proportional pace.
The root cause of the problem of unskilled labour in Africa is poor or lack of education. There is a huge mismatch between what students are taught in schools and what the job market demands from its workforce.
Governments have paid little attention to the education sector, creating a vacuum for expensive private educational institutions. In other words, seemingly quality education is expensive and out of reach of the majority.
Businesses want to hire talented candidates that will add value to their company. This problem creates opportunities for entrepreneurs to help skill up the workforce for the 21st century.
Futuristic African entrepreneurs are already building education technology solutions at different levels of education to meet this need. Examples of solutions for a skilled workforce are vocational training programs, massive coding education, exam test-prep applications, online learning platforms, professional certification, language training, and skill acquisition programs.
According to World Bank, the future of Africa will be shaped by two dynamics. First how well its leaders prepare for the fastest population growth rate in the world. And second, how well the leaders do in creating the right opportunities for their young citizens.
About 60 percent of people living in Africa are under the age of 25, making Africa the world’s youngest continent. Whether this is an advantage or a disadvantage will depend on how the continent handles this young energy. As populations in most parts of the developed world are ageing, Africa can potentially supply the global workforce of the future.
But if this young population is left uneducated and unskilled, it will become a global disaster. This is why the problem of unemployment is a matter of urgency.
Unskilled labour is a major contributor to unemployment. If the workforce has the right skills, a good part of the unemployment problem will be solved. The reason is that high skilled performers are always in demand, both locally and internationally. Also, the internet makes it easy for skilled workers to find work from any part of the world.
In addition, a skilled workforce will contribute to more job creation. The more businesses succeed, the more they’ll hire more talents and expand their business.
However, another layer of the problem of unemployment is access to job opportunities. Many skilled workers cannot find available jobs relevant to them. Entrepreneurs can create wealth from building solutions to connect skilled workers or freelancers to local and international jobs and clients.
No nation can achieve its development objectives without adequate electricity. The power supply is a foundational infrastructure upon which economies are built. Despite the importance of electricity for development, about 620 million Africans lack access to electricity.
The governments have failed to provide electricity to citizens to drive economic growth. An overwhelming number of businesses fail due to a lack of or expensive power supply. The price of products and services are negatively affected when businesses have to generate their own electricity. Consequently, this inhibits the standard of living of people living in Africa and impedes the growth of human capital and economies.
The renewable energy industry is an attractive trillion dollar industry with enormous growth projections. People want to have a steady power supply in their homes for everyday use. Businesses want to be able to access low cost electric supplies. Entrepreneurs are moving to solve this problem by leveraging renewable energy sources – like solar and wind energy. There is a huge market for solar panels, inverters and batteries. And there is a pool of investors willing to invest in renewable energy companies in Africa.
GVE Group is a renewable energy company in Nigeria providing clean energy solutions to communities and corporations. The company has since attracted millions of dollars in investments. If you are willing to partake in solving the electricity problem in Africa, the industry is large enough to reward you with wealth and legacy.
- Health care
According to a WHO Report, infectious diseases are the leading causes of sickness and death in developing regions like Africa. Malaria, HIV & AIDS, pneumonia, tuberculosis, diarrhoea, and measles make up more than 90 percent of over 10 million disease-related deaths that occur in Africa every year. Most of these diseases can be treated with the right drugs.
According to the IFC, Africa’s $21 billion healthcare market could double in size in a decade. This growth is driven by innovation in the health care industry. During the corona virus outbreak, a pharmaceutical laboratory in Senegal created the cheapest testing kit, and a team of researchers produced a prototype for the cheapest ventilator using 3D printing technology. In Ghana, a company delivered blood samples from rural areas to laboratories in the city using drones. In Nigeria, Lifebank – a startup that develops smart ways to deliver critical blood supplies to hospitals in busy cities – raised $0.2 million to support and expand its operations. These are a few of the creative ways health-tech is solving health problems in Africa.
Since you are still here, here is an appreciation bonus point.
The growing insecurity in many parts of Africa has created a void for innovative minds to fill. Governments, organizations and individuals need advanced security apparatus to safeguard lives and properties.
In an interview, the former president of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan noted that he intends to solve corruption and insecurity challenges in the country with technology. In other words, when rightly deployed, technology innovation is a powerful tool to solve many problems in the continent.
Recently, a Nigerian robotics engineer, and founder of Robotic and Artificial Intelligence Nigeria (RAIN), Dr Olusola Ayoola, developed Carbon Emission Tracker Drone for aerial surveillance to detect hideouts of criminals within caves and forest areas. According to him, criminal elements hiding in caves and forested areas cannot escape the innovative capability of drone surveillance offered by the CET drone.
Homes and individuals can also use security devices that can improve their safety and that of their properties. The problem of insecurity is an opportunity for bright minds and entrepreneurs to develop solutions that leverage advanced technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning, data analytics and Blockchain.
Problems are opportunities in disguise. Africa has many of these problems. If you are willing to join in solving any of these problems in your country, you will be rewarded with wealth, impact and legacy. Until next time, YOUR SUCCESS MATTERS!