5 Multinational Corporations Making Significant Investments in Africa
By Nathaniel Simons, The Africa Channel
No matter how one feels about the issue of foreign investment in Africa, one thing is clear: it’s happening. According to the International Monetary Fund, five of the world’s fastest growing economies will be in Sub-Saharan Africa. Africa is the world’s next big frontier market according to The Wall Street Journal, which also suggests the continent’s economy is projected to grow to $2.6 trillion, up from $1.6 trillion in 2008. While that number might not sound high when compared to global counterparts (US was estimated at $15 trillion at the end of 2011), it marks rapid growth and potential for the continent.
Multinational companies from countries such as China, India, and Brazil have long known about this potential. As a result, they’ve made significant investments across Africa. Not to say that the U.S. has been absent. Companies such as Coca-Cola and Exxon Mobil have made decade-long investments in the consumer-base and resources that the African continent boasts. But there are also some corporations just beginning to see the opportunity.
- IBM – Investment in new cloud centers across the Middle East and Africa ($1.2 billion total global investment in 15 different sites)
- Wal-Mart Inc – $313 million investment at the end of 2012 to build 40 stores (majority shareholder of South Africa’s Massmart)
- General Electric – Committed to bringing 5,000 megawatts of new energy to Tanzania and Ghana
- Procter & Gamble – $170 million dollar investment for a manufacturing plant in South Africa to serve consumers in Southern and Eastern Africa
- PricewaterhouseCoopers – 3-year staggered investment in key markets (announced in 2011)
(Retail Customer Experience)