In the past one decade countries in the sub-Saharan Africa have posted strong rates of economic growth. Actually, between 2000 and 2008, sub-Saharan Africa region posted the highest economic growth rate in the world (average annual GDP growth rate of the region was over 8%). In 2015 the GDP growth in the region is likely to come down to 4.2%, according to estimates of World Bank.
In spite of slowing of economic growth in the region, countries in sub-Saharan Africa offer great opportunities for you if you are an entrepreneur. Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Nigeria are among the major countries in the region that offer great opportunities for entrepreneurs, in spite of some major challenges.
The sub-Saharan region is very good for setting up manufacturing facilities for items such as clothes. The products manufactured in these facilities can be exported to Europe and United States. United States has an African Growth & Opportunity Act (AGOA). This act gives duty-free access to United States to products manufactured in certain sub-Saharan countries. So if you are an Indian that has gone and set up a manufacturing facility in Ethiopia then you may be able to export the products manufactured at your facility without having to pay any customs duty in United States. Due to this the products manufactured at your facility will get a cost advantage over competitors from other countries that do not enjoy preferential access under AGOA.
A recent report by consulting firm McKinsey & Company expects that countries in sub-Saharan Africa such as Ethiopia will emerge as the next global hub for manufacturing of items such as apparel. The low rates of wage in the manufacturing sectors of these countries give manufacturers a cost advantage.
Sub-Saharan African countries pose some unique challenges too. There is power shortage in most of these countries. Law & order is a problem in countries such as Kenya and Nigeria. Parts of Nigeria are afflicted by the terrorism of Boko Haram. There is also shortage of educated and skilled human resources & managerial talent. But these challenges can be overcome to avail of the huge growth and export opportunities that sub-Saharan countries offer.
In the sub-Saharan region, Ethiopia stands out for its recent economic performance and political & social stability. Its power situation is relatively better than neighbouring countries. It has a number of hydro-electric plants. The wages in the country are among the lowest in the region. And the government there is supporting industrial growth.
If you are an entrepreneur or want to become one then it is advisable that you do a course in Entrepreneurship that can inform and educate you about the global opportunities out there.