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Top Business Trends Across Africa In 2022


Oct. 10, 2022, 1:19 p.m.

Before the pandemic, technology and innovation were integrated into businesses to reduce costs, optimize processes, and expand customer bases. The 2021 OECD report on African economies suggests continuing to leverage these existing trends in data and digitalization to recover from the pandemic and, at the same time, usher in a new age of economic growth and transformation.

With the advent of this technological wave, new and highly connected business trends have emerged across Africa in 2022 and are expected to succeed in the coming years.

Health tech startups

Given that the pandemic is mainly a public health crisis, it is no surprise that the healthcare sector has been one of the pioneers in adopting digital technologies to ensure continuity. While telemedicine has been vital in addressing the gaps in health service delivery, an article from TechCrunch discusses how health tech startups have carved another space in the supply chain and distribution of drugs and medical equipment.

Among these startups is mPharma, which enacts its vision of access to safe and affordable medicine in Ghana by building a network of community pharmacies and digitizing distribution to underserved communities and consumers. The startup recently raised $17 million in addition to its $35 million raise in January to fund its next phase of growth and expansion. Other African health supply chain startups still need additional investment to broaden their scope and cope with regulatory changes.

Financial technology

The African fintech ecosystem was built upon the need to diversify away from the commodity economy and take advantage of the increased mobile phone and Internet penetration. Mobile banking and payment systems remain the sector’s key players, but cryptocurrency has been reshaping the landscape with its promise of decentralizing financial services.

Deemed the pride of Africa’s cryptocurrency market is SAFCOIN, which was launched exclusively in South Africa in 2018 but has recently been offered to the global market. As the crypto market reached $105.6 billion in 2021 and continues to grow, African governments are prompted to develop regulations that consider both the risks and benefits of this fintech revolution.

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Growing in tandem with the advancements in mobile payment processing is the rise of Africa’s e-Commerce industry. The industry may have encountered logistical challenges and consumer skepticism in its early years. Still, the IFC report on e-Conomy Africa notes that the pandemic has become a springboard for the continued growth of e-Commerce.

In light of the full and partial lockdowns across African countries, consumers turned to e-Commerce to purchase food, health products, and eventually non-essential items like clothes and electronics. Nigeria-founded startups Jumia and Konga are both said to be facing off in the e-Commerce race that is expected to continue as online shopping transactions remain commonplace despite the easing of pandemic restrictions.

On-demand food delivery services

The pandemic disrupted consumer access to the food and restaurant industry, but startups were able to break into the market of on-demand food delivery and address this. Since local restaurants had fewer resources to cover pandemic-related losses, delivery startup beU’s business model caters to small and medium-sized food businesses to close that gap.

Following beU’s unprecedented popularity in Ethiopia as a modern and inclusive service for all classes, it expects to raise around $4 million to start its expansion plans. Should beU succeed in operating in Uganda, Tanzania, and ten other countries, Africa will have to look out for this significant contender in the booming delivery business.

These emerging trends are proof that African businesses have effectively utilized digital technology to survive and thrive in this ever-changing environment. It is clear that flexibility, adaptability, and resilience are critical enablers for leveling the playing field and having local startups compete with global economic players.

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