Africa Consumer Business Exco

Opportunities created by emerging “new” African economies

New Economies in Africa

“Investing in Africa” is a common phrase these days, yet, the question begs, how does one approach a continent of 54 countries with a diverse array of economic, sociocultural, political, and environmental landscapes for investments. The investment opportunities offered by each country also differ substantially, a fact often not recognised.

The recent rise of regional hubs across the continent has been garnering attention as countries acknowledge that full integration within these regional hubs is key to improving the often-reported difficulties of conducting cross-border business on the continent. In addition, full integration brings with it the potential for increased investment flows into the continent through economies of scale, enabling Africa to participate in the world economy as a truly global competitor.

The purpose of this paper is to focus on opportunities created by the emerging “new” economies and cross-border trade within these regional hubs; namely Central Africa, East Africa, North Africa, Southern Africa, and West Africa.

There is a rise in cross-border purchases within the continent, whether formal or informal, which are essential features of market economies. Cross-border consumers visit other countries for short periods, with shopping as their main purpose. The goods they buy range from clothes to car engines and are generally on-sold in their home countries or taken back to their families. Cross-border trade has the ability to have positive macro-economic and social ramifications. These include food security and income creation, particularly for rural populations on the continent that would otherwise suffer from social exclusion.

Click here to download Deloitte on Africa – The New Economies in Africa which discusses each regional hub individually

For more information relating to business opportunities in Africa, contact Anushuya Gounden (Partner – Head of Africa Nerve Centre) at or Taki Nkhumeleni (Manager – Africa Nerve Centre at

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About the author

David Graham

1 Comment

  • Nice report!

    A few comments:

    1. What has been the historical returns for developed economies and companies who invested in Africa over the past decades?

    2. What are your top African economies which in your opinion will deliver solid returns in the long run? Can you give us an acronym (like BRICS for emerging global forces) for these economies so we can follow closely?

    3. Is Africa still a mere source of natural raw materials, as the world economy is gradually moving to the information age and services accounting for growth?

    4. Are these African economies ready to attract the needed capital investments to spur growth? In terms of regulations and strengthening public institutions, infrastructure, political and ethnic stability, etc

    5. Is trade with the developed world going to drive the needed economic growth?

    6. What is the driving force behind the rapid growth of the Asian economies apart from population expansion which is creating a solid market? is it industrialisation – imitation & reverse engineering of US & European goods and services? Can Africa imitate same strategy and service its own markets?

    let me hear your thoughts on these compelling issues.

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