Take it or leave it, Africa is a huge continent. It is my beloved continent with an estimated population of 1216000000 people.
There are about 7 billion people with unique skills, talents, knowledge and experience. God bless mankind.
So, when you think of the right market to sell your goods or services, come to Africa.
This is the optimistic part of this story. It is good to start 2017 on a positive, optimistic level.
Now let’s come down to reality. The world has gone digital. But Africa is still slow in the transition from analog to digital era.
corruption, illiteracy, poverty, lack of social services, lack of confidence, lack of knowledge about what it takes to run a business online, are some of the factors militating against Africa and Africans.
Internet penetration is 28.7 per cent in my beloved continent. Compared to North America with 89 percent penetration rate, this is a far cry.
This means that North America with an estimated population of 579 million people is more digital than Africa. But Africa has the market. In fairness, companies are striving in the continent.
Many Africans know little or nothing about online business and think people who do business online or fraudsters and criminals.
This is not true. There are true and false entrepreneurs everywhere, internet included.
Trust is also impossible to do business online. With the world becoming a global family, business owners do not need to physically meet to transact business. There are no restrictions in this digital age of running businesses.
Anything and everything could be sold online and cash in local and foreign currency from one part of the world to another.
But, my good friend in Lagos, Nigeria, who has master’s degree from one of the oldest universities in our country know little or nothing about running an online business.
We discussed yesterday and he bluntly told me that he knows almost nothing about online business.
So, he has to move his comfortable car parts from one place to another, looking for customers.
This is going to hurt a part of online entrepreneurs through Africa with great potential.
But the pain of not having enough customers from Africa are a passing phase for your business. Even the Bible says, will pass this.
Therefore, in 2017, I am confident that more and more entrepreneurs will overcome the pain of going from analog to digital in Africa.
I get the feeling deep inside, that ten years down the line, the story will change for the better, and internet penetration will rise in Africa.