Where to Invest in Africa in the Face of COVID-19
There are several reasons why this pandemic is such a potent threat to the region. The previous crisis that Africa faced has always had a differential impact on the economies. COVID19 will affect all countries’ formal economic activities, and various investments.
Moreover, the poor in society will feel the hit more. Lockdown and curfews announced by the government as curb measures will restrict breadwinners from going out to look for food but stay home and practice social distancing. Currently, only a few can work from home.
Many of the nations are having high levels of public debt, minimal public savings, and dried private external financing. Should this scare away potential investors? No. Here are key investment opportunities in Africa in the face of COVID19.
Technology has been getting a boost mostly from the measures various governments have put in place as measures towards curbing the spread of the virus. Investing in mobile payment technology will see one record tremendous profits, as families are slowly shifting to cashless payments in fear of infections through cash handling.
Companies like Kenya’s Safaricom and Nigeria’s Paga are helping that shift by aiding or reducing fees during this period. Recently, Safaricom’s M-Pesa revenue grew by 12.6 percent to Sh84.44 billion as mobile data revenue increased by 12.1 percent to Sh40.67 billion.
These vital institutions are facing the challenge of keeping learners connected and learning while at home; the adoption of online study classes remains the only option. E-learning classes have now overtaken traditional classroom learning. But is it benefiting all students?
The current disruptions in this sector call for innovations that will bring concrete solutions capable of handling such an unknown situation, even in the future. Technology can help in scale education quality in Africa. The quantity and quality of the options have been improving, but most parents suggest there is more to be done here.
Healthcare systems across the African continent still require much investment beyond the typical hospital and clinic. With the new normal, countries still need to work on the ability to protect and provide top-notch healthcare services in a post covid19 world, incorporating technology.
Africa’s healthcare system is quite delicate and has proven that it can only cope with small numbers of infected people in the event the virus spreads rapidly. Introducing digital technology in this sector will go a long way in helping to bridge the existing gaps, help remote and marginalized areas access Medicare.
Telcom and Power
Today’s world is more data and more power consumption in a physically distanced world. Investors have an opportunity to invest in affordable and renewable solutions to help reduce the usage of kerosene in lighting, and cooking also remains intriguing.
In Africa, Kenya leads in exploiting renewable energy sources to provide the energy required to complement the realization of Vision 2030. How can players in the telecom and power industry help make this trend easier and affordable for consumers?
Technology companies usually are not the biggest winners during tough economic times. Technology bump should be expected in markets already utilizing technology to leapfrog its maturation process. For instance, Netflix saw more than 15 million new subscribers in the first quarter of 2020 and is betting on Africa.
Investing in Africa-focused technology solutions remains a big opportunity in the post-pandemic era. Some of the critical areas once can invest in include: global travel, cashless transfers, and education (highlighted above)
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