Taking advantage of an integrated world


This is according to Mark Spelman, managing director of Accenture.

“We can bridge the gap if you can create corridors whereby you’ve got broadband and access to the internet. You can also create hubs where people can use the internet. Whether that’s small to medium enterprises, or whether that’s agriculture holdings that creates bottom up centres where people can grow, develop and prosper.”

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Spelman added that although there are many challenges on the continent, there are also many advantages regarding demographics, consumerism and urbanisation.

“If you look at what’s going on in Africa, clearly one of the great advantages that Africa has got is it’s relatively young population. The continent is growing rapidly, you also see an increase in urbanisation and although we still do have a lot of poverty in the African continent, we also see rising middle-classes.”

He added that the growth in consumerism has made the continent more attractive to investors.

“As you begin to see segmentation in the African market, that creates a lot of opportunity, particularly for consumer goods companies and retailers who are looking to expand.”

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Spelman further stated that the challenge is that supply chains and infrastructure continue to make it difficult to transport goods across borders.

“Very often the big issues are around how do you actually get products, particularly into cities in different sub regions. The key question is really always about supply chain and how do you optimise the supply chain around your key assets,” he said.