Is this strong showing in football an indication of Africa's emergence in other areas, such as the global economy and international business?
As the 2014 FIFA World Cup draws towards its final stages, it has been a remarkable showing by the African nations, with Algeria and Nigeria reaching the last 16. Algeria even threatened to defeat Germany to advance into the quarter finals, but were unlucky to be defeated in the closing minutes of extra time.
Likewise, the continent has certainly seen strong economic growth, averaging around 5% annually over the last decade. In particular, countries such as Nigeria, Mozambique, Rwanda and Tanzania have done well – after a statistical re-calculation, Nigeria's economy overtook South Africa to become the continent's largest earlier this year.
Fast-growing populations, increasing urbanisation and better incomes (an emerging wealthy elite as well as a growing consumer class) mean that consumption in Africa is on the rise - this particularly affects the food market with ever-increasing demand for more animal protein and better quality / more nutritious food.
Of course, the risks of doing business in Africa are well-documented - political instability and corruption remain a factor, there are still very high levels of poverty and infrastructure is often insufficient. Especially in recent times we have seen an increasing risk of violence and terrorist activity.
The actions of Boko Haram in northern and central Nigeria (mass kidnappings and bomb attacks on heavily-populated centres) have been reported all over the world, as have been the recent terrorist attacks in Kenya (shopping mall bombing, attacks on coastal tourist areas and kidnappings).
However, in spite of these risks, Africa cannot be ignored for its growing potential. Many of our clients clearly believe this as we have been extremely busy on projects on the African continent in recent times – working in sub-Saharan Africa (especially West Africa, East Africa and Southern Africa) and increasingly in North Africa (Egypt, Morocco, Algeria).
Maybe, in business terms, Africa can do even better than it did in the World Cup and 'advance to the next round'. But who will be the winners among the continent's vast number of individual countries?
Take a look at some of the project work we have already undertaken in Africa. If you are interested in Africa's progress and potential and would like to explore what opportunities it offers for your business, please contact us - we are happy to discuss this subject with you!