Africa Project Access May 2012 Whisperings on African Business Developments and Opportunities
May 2012: The AFRICAN HOTELS SECTOR is presenting considerable opportunities for investors. The continent is registering an average of 150 new hotel deals per year whereas the deal rate on other continents has declined. There are opportunities for three-star business hotels in markets such as Nigeria and Angola. A special opportunity is that of branding. Only 14% of African hotels are branded internationally compared with 46% in the Middle East.
There are a number of peculiarities relating to the AFRICAN ICT SECTOR. Because of the absence of old fixed line infrastructure in many countries, they are going straight to third generation (3G). There is an obsession with fibre cable that will dissipate as cable cuts occur. In the long term, there is likely to be a mix of fibre cable and wireless with fibre as the main backbone and wireless serving the final mile to the user. Unfortunately, Africa has become a dumping ground for inappropriate, older and obsolete technologies and equipment.
There is increasing collaboration between Botswana, Swaziland and South Africa regarding coordinatiing for the routing of growing AFRICAN COAL EXPORTS to the Indian Ocean through the proposed Techobanine Port in southern Mozambique. Rumours that South Africa was not fully supportive because it preferred the South African port at Richards Bay in South Africa seem to have dissipated.
Investors should exercise some care when approaching AFRICAN INVESTMENT PROMOTION CENTRES for project leads. Some are efficient and are happy to assist potential investors and suppliers with onward referrals to the appropriate organisations. However, others are less efficient and willing to assist. Recent economic austerity programmes have led to amalgamations of various governmental entities including investment centres and their roles and objectives as well as staff may have changed.