Opinions & Features December 06, 2017 at 05:33 am

Entrepreneur Fred Swaniker: 3 reasons why you should move back to Africa

Ismail Akwei December 06, 2017 at 05:33 am

December 06, 2017 at 05:33 am | Opinions & Features

Reason #1: Africa is an entrepreneur’s paradise

I believe that Africa today is where China was 30 years ago. We’re just beginning to take off. So those on the ground today will capture all these exciting opportunities. This is especially so if you think like an entrepreneur. You see, entrepreneurs succeed by solving problems for society, and guess what–we have so many problems just waiting to be solved in Africa! For this reason, I call Africa ‘an entrepreneur’s paradise’.

For example, we still need to create great infrastructure. So why not be the one to build Elon Musk’s ‘hyperloop’ and enable fast transportation across Africa, without us having to build expensive and obsolete highways? Or why not be the one to build low-cost housing for the 800 million people who will be moving into African cities over the next 40 years? Why not be the one to leverage technology to create low-cost healthcare or education for the hundreds of millions of Africans who don’t have it today? Why not take advantage of Africa’s abundant land, sunshine, and rain to become an ‘agro-billionaire’ by growing and exporting huge amounts of food to the world’s ballooning population? If you have an artistic flair, why not be the one to create the African Disney? Why not be the one to figure out how to bring consumer credit to hundreds of millions of people–perhaps using blockchain technology? Or become rich by creating tourism businesses that also promote the conservation of Africa’s wildlife? The list goes on. There is SO MUCH entrepreneurial opportunity in Africa!

In the US and many western countries, almost all these ideas have already been done.  So it’s very difficult to break through unless you have an extremely creative idea. In Africa, the ideas are simple. They’re just waiting for smart and courageous people to make them happen. With the exception of Elon Musk, I’ve never heard of an African billionaire in the USA. Have you? No–almost all the African billionaires we know–Strive Masiyiwa, Aliko Dangote, Patrice Motsepe, Jim Ovia, Folorunso Alakija, Mo Ibrahim, Manu Chandaria, etc– made their fortunes right here in Africa. Case closed.


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