Auto assembly line at the industrial town Thika of Nairobi Andrew Wasike/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Capturing Africa’s High Returns

Over the next 12 years, Africa's expanding population and strong economic growth across globally competitive sectors could translate into especially high returns for investors. If Western firms do not step in to meet the consumer demand of Africa's growing middle class, their Chinese competitors will.

WASHINGTON, DC – Since 2000, at least half of the world’s fastest-growing economies have been in Africa. And by 2030, Africa will be home to 1.7 billion people, whose combined consumer and business spending will total $6.7 trillion.

Seven years ago, the Harvard Business Review pointed out that Africa is also home to many of the world’s biggest opportunities. And yet, despite its tremendous business potential, Africa has not risen to the top of Western business leaders’ agendas.

In fact, between 2014 and 2016, US exports to Africa fell by almost half, from $38 billion to $22 billion. And while the United Kingdom’s investments on the continent more than doubled between 2005 and 2014, reaching £42.5 billion ($57.6 billion), only 2.5% of its total exports are to Africa.

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