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Uncharted African regions and sectors offer growth opportunities for SMEs - DHL

By Deutsche Post DHL
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CAPE-TOWN, South-Africa, April 16, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- Despite the recent prediction by the World Bank(1) that economic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa will slow in 2015, the region is still home to one of the fastest-growing middle class in the world. As a result, there are vast opportunities on the continent for progressive African entrepreneurs and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to take advantage of.

Logo: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/logos/dhl_logo2.jpg

Photo Charles Brewer: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/photos/charles-brewer-1.jpg (Charles Brewer, Managing Director for DHL Express Sub-Saharan Africa)

Charles Brewer, Managing Director of DHL Express Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) (http://www.dpdhl.com), says one sector providing plentiful prospects is the agricultural industry, which is Africa's largest economic sector representing 15% of the continent's total GDP and more than $100 billion per year(2). “It is estimated that more than 60% of the globe's available and vacant land is situated in SSA(3), which suggests that the sector still offers incredible growth.”

Another industry seeing significant growth is the banking sector, which has grown extensively over the last decade and has become a substantial player in emerging-market banking2. Brewer says that the rising middle class and 'unbanked' African consumers should continue to drive the industry. “Other industries experiencing growth and offering prospects on the continent include technology, consumer goods and telecommunications.”

In addition to these thriving industries, Brewer identifies five unexpected 'boom towns' and cities that are enjoying growth on the back of these industries, therefore providing opportunities for African businesses:

• Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso: This second city is blossoming due to substantial growth in the food and agriculture sector. Many small and medium enterprises are setting up factories to locally produce products for both the domestic and export markets, with the main products being fruits, cereals, cotton, vegetable oil, soap and other artisanal products.

• Ebène, Mauritius: This is an up and coming technology hub which, due to its advanced infrastructure and facilities, has attracted many financial institutions and international legal firms.

• Mbarara, Uganda: Mbarara is a growing industrial town 280km from Uganda's capital Kampala, which is located in the center of the dairy farming district. As a result of its location, favourable climate and abundant land availability, it has attracted investors involved in the manufacturing of dairy products, as well as breweries and beverage companies expanding to the area.

• Farafenni, the Gambia: Situated on the north bank of the Gambia River, about 120km inland from the capital Banjul, the town is home to numerous banks and insurance firms. It is experiencing fast growth mainly due to its geographical location on the main road between Dakar and Casamance (the southern area of Senegal), and its close proximity to the ferry to cross the Gambia River.

• Konza Techno City, Kenya: Having just finished its infrastructure phase, the new technology city is situated 60km southeast of Nairobi and will focus on four economic sectors; namely education, life sciences, telecommunications and business process outsourcing. It is predicted to significantly stimulate technology spending, investment and growth in Kenya.

“DHL is present in every African country and territory, with 37 years of express logistics experience on the continent. With our extensive footprint in Africa, we are uniquely positioned to service these 'boom towns' and burgeoning industries,” concludes Brewer.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Deutsche Post DHL.

(1) The World Bank: http://www.worldbank.org/en/region/afr/overview )

(2) McKinsey & Company, Africa's path to growth: Sector by sector: http://www.mckinsey.com/insights/economic_studies/africas_path_to_growth_sector_by_sector

(3) KPMG, Agriculture in Africa: https://www.kpmg.com/Africa/en/IssuesAndInsights/Articles-Publications/General-Industries-Publications/Documents/Agriculture%20in%20Africa.pdf

Media Contact:

Megan Collinicos. Head: Advertising & Public Relations, Sub-Saharan Africa

DHL Express

Tel +27 21 409 3613 Mobile +27 76 411 8570

[email protected]

Follow us: www.twitter.com/DHLAfrica

DHL – The logistics company for the world

DHL (http://www.dpdhl.com) is the leading global brand in the logistics industry. DHL's family of divisions offer an unrivalled portfolio of logistics services ranging from national and international parcel delivery, international express, road, air and ocean transport to industrial supply chain management. With more than 325,000 employees in over 220 countries and territories worldwide, they connect people and businesses securely and reliably, enabling global trade flows. With specialized solutions for growth markets and industries including e-Commerce, technology, life science and healthcare, energy, automotive and retail, a proven commitment to corporate responsibility and an unrivalled presence in developing markets, DHL is decisively positioned as “The logistics company for the world”.

DHL is part of Deutsche Post DHL Group. The Group generated revenues of more than 56 billion euros in 2014.