Are young business owners the key to new growth in Africa?
According to the Africa Economic Outlook, GDP in Africa is expected to grow 3.4% in 2021, after contracting 2.1% in 2020 following the global COVID-19 pandemic. Sub-Saharan Africa, with its young and growing population, is poised to lead this growth for the continent.
Thanks to digital solutions and access to global markets provided by companies like FedEx Express, a growing number of young African entrepreneurs could be the key to new development across Africa, and jumpstart Africa’s return. to an engine of global economic growth.
Almost 60% of Africa’s population is under 25, and the African Union recognizes the importance of investing and creating opportunities for young people to reach their full potential through programs such as the African Charter of Youth Decade Plan of Action and the Malabo Decision on Youth Empowerment, part of AU Agenda 2063.
Entrepreneurship can offer a viable route to success for people entering the workforce for the first time, in large part because young entrepreneurs are more likely to hire other young people and are more likely to be the first to adopt new technologies and economic opportunities.
Taking advantage of the continent’s growing digital revolution, young entrepreneurs are using information and communications technologies to increase their prospects, as evidenced by the growth of technology hubs in Kenya, Rwanda and Ghana. PWC estimates that the digital economy could contribute up to 24% of global GDP over the next five years – a staggering $ 18.2 trillion. Young Africans are dynamic, forward-looking and well positioned to develop innovative ways to harness the digital economy and use it to access global markets.
For new businesses looking to ship their goods to Africa or across the globe, logistical support can be a game-changer. Efficient logistics services, staffed with experts who can offer advice and support to navigate customs rules and regulations, and are easily accessible, are essential in helping businesses compete globally.
The logistics industry has an important role to play in the growth of a youth-driven economy as companies seek to expand their customer base into new markets.
FedEx has a long history of supporting and defending entrepreneurs in the region, and we continue to strengthen our presence to provide our customers with easier and more direct access to our services. With nearly 50 years of helping small businesses reach new markets, we know entrepreneurs look for a partner who doesn’t just deliver products, but helps them navigate and connect to global markets, and to grow their business globally.