E-Commerce, Logistics and Cashew Nuts
How Southern African Small Business are Making the World Rethink the Region
Southern Africa has an innovative entrepreneurial culture, combined with the ability to develop products attractive to consumers worldwide. Physical infrastructure is improving and increased connectivity is helping domestic businesses flourish.
South Africa is a hub for the pharmaceutical, information technology, publishing and manufacturing industries, and provides a springboard into the rest of the southern African region. There are many local businesses ready to partner with European companies and reach new customers.
It is projected that by 2016, the planet will see $1 trillion in global e-commerce transactions, the growth potential in this region is enormous.
SMEs are the economic catalysts in both southern Africa and Europe – and their challenge is the same: to do more trade beyond their own borders.
Local businesses that sell traditional wood carvings or mango chutney at one of a multitude of markets can now easily set up a website, market their products and sell them – not just all over southern Africa, but, with the right logistics partner, to anywhere in the world, creating real opportunities for them to expand globally.
It is because of this huge potential for growth in southern Africa that we have increased our presence in the region through the acquisition of the Supaswift businesses.
This has given us access to 40 facilities and more than 1,000 new team members across seven countries, including Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia, Swaziland and South Africa – countries that together represent a fifth of Africa’s total GDP.
Trade between Europe and Africa is growing healthily.
Ernst & Young predicts that by 2020, it is likely that Europe will have become the most important market for sub-Saharan African exports, accounting for around a quarter of all its trade.
Small businesses, catalyzed by the internet, are set to be a crucial growth engine for southern Africa. Not only will this benefit the region’s economy, it will give the people of southern Africa – and their products – the best possible platform for showcasing what they have to offer.