Africa has a population second only to Asia and a youthful demographic structure. For a long time, its potential has been underestimated by Chinese overseas enterprises and entrepreneurs.
Africa is the world’s second-largest continent, located in the Eastern Hemisphere, bordered by Europe to the north and Asia to the east. It spans the equator, featuring a diverse topography, including deserts, rift valleys, mountain ranges, lakes, plains, and rivers. The climate is predominantly characterized by desert and equatorial rainforest climates. Africa comprises five major regions: North Africa, East Africa, West Africa, Southern Africa, and Central Africa, with a total area of approximately 29,648,481 square kilometers and consists of 54 countries.
According to United Nations data, Africa has the highest population growth rate among all major regions, and it is projected that the population of sub-Saharan Africa will double by 2050. Furthermore, Africa has a very young population structure, with a median age of 19 years. Therefore, Africa is expected to play a central role in global population size and distribution in the coming decades. The major religions in Africa include Islam, Christianity, and indigenous traditional religions, with the predominant ethnic groups including Caucasians in North Africa and various black ethnicities such as Nilotic and Bantu peoples south of the Sahara Desert.
According to data from the African Development Bank, in 2022, the economic growth rate in Africa slowed to 4.1%, but the development momentum remains strong, making it one of the most significant and robust regions in the world, surpassing Europe, North America, South America, and the global average, second only to Asia. In 2023, Africa’s GDP is expected to rebound from 3.8% in 2022 to 4%, with prospects for strengthening due to anticipated improvements in the global economic situation. According to the “2022 African Economic Outlook Report,” in 2023, more than 18 African countries are expected to have growth rates exceeding 5%, and this number is projected to increase to 22 in 2024.
Africa varies significantly across its regions, with North Africa and East Africa experiencing the highest economic growth rates in the African continent, while West Africa, Central Africa, and Southern Africa have slower growth rates. On a country level, Botswana and South Africa have relatively strong economic foundations, while countries like Ghana, Kenya, Gabon, Cameroon, and Egypt possess abundant oil and tourism resources, with their primary industries centered around energy exports and tourism. Across the entire African continent, Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria, and South Africa are the top five largest economies.
In recent years, structural economic disparities in Africa have become increasingly evident. A reliance on a single economic structure has led to over-dependence on external economies, and an inability to create more jobs for the benefit of the people. Many African countries are now striving for economic transformation. At the same time, the digital economy is on the rise in relatively developed countries such as Kenya and Nigeria. In April 2018, the World Bank initiated the African Digital Economy Initiative, aimed at ensuring that everyone, businesses, and governments in Africa achieve digitization by 2030, in support of the African Union’s “Digital Transformation Strategy.” Additionally, the rise of the middle class, the development of e-commerce, and mobile payments have created opportunities for overseas companies seeking opportunities in Africa.
This article will provide an overview of 18 Chinese enterprises deeply invested in Africa, spanning five major sectors: technology consumer products, daily consumer staples, automotive transportation, internet and digital economy, and pharmaceuticals. These enterprises represent diverse industries exploring opportunities in Africa.
Technology consumer products
When it comes to Chinese companies expanding into Africa, one cannot ignore Transsion Holdings. Founded in Shenzhen in 2013, Transsion Holdings’ main business is the research and sales of mobile phones. On September 30, 2019, Transsion successfully went public on the Shanghai Stock Exchange’s Sci-Tech Innovation Board.
In its second year of establishment, Transsion started venturing into the African market. Today, this relatively unknown domestic mobile phone company has become a leading brand in the African market. Transsion’s market share in Africa stands at an impressive 48.7%, with 2022 revenues reaching CNY 20.633 billion in the African region. Transsion’s phones have gained popularity in the African market primarily because they address local concerns such as localization, pricing, and battery life. According to IDC, even in a year when the global smartphone shipment volume decreased overall in 2023, Transsion continued to rise in market standing and became the fifth-largest global smartphone manufacturer.
Currently, Transsion’s portfolio includes highly recognized mobile phone brands like TECNO, itel, and Infinix in emerging markets such as Africa. They also have digital accessory brand oraimo and home appliance brand Syinix. In addition, Transsion’s “Transsion OS,” a secondarily developed Android system, has become one of the mainstream operating systems in Africa. Around Transsion OS, Transsion has developed numerous utility applications like an app store, advertising distribution platform, and a mobile manager.
Furthermore, Transsion collaborates with companies such as NetEase and Tencent to develop and incubate mobile internet products. By the end of 2021, several applications had more than 10 million monthly active users, including the African music streaming platform Boomplay, news aggregation app Scooper, and comprehensive content distribution app Phoenix, among others.
As early as 1998, Huawei officially entered the African market. As one of the first Chinese companies to venture into Africa, Huawei has deeply rooted itself in the continent for a long time. It currently collaborates with over 200 African telecommunications operators, making it a leader in the African telecom sector. Additionally, Huawei serves as a digital transformation partner for more than 1,500 local African businesses.
Unlike companies that entered Africa later, Huawei’s growth in Africa has coincided with the increase in internet penetration and mobile device adoption. Huawei has played a crucial role in bridging the digital divide in Africa. Over the course of several decades, Huawei has made significant societal contributions in Africa by promoting digital economic development, fostering industrialization and employment, and supporting education.
Skyworth Digital was established in 2002 and is a subsidiary of Skyworth Group（创维集团）. It primarily engages in multimedia and appliance businesses and is a well-known Chinese appliance manufacturer. In 2014, Skyworth Digital went public in Shenzhen and the following year, it entered the African market. Apart from selling household electronic products such as televisions and set-top boxes, it also expanded its product range to include refrigerators, freezers, air conditioners, washing machines, and gas stoves. Over time, it gradually replaced Korean brands like Samsung and LG, establishing itself as the dominant player in the African home appliance market.
Currently, Skyworth Digital holds a market share of over 80% in Africa. It has exclusive supply rights with leading African operators and is the largest shareholder of Multichoice, the former top shareholder of Tencent. Furthermore, it maintains strong cooperative relationships with four of the top six local operators. Skyworth Digital has also set up its own factory in South Africa, further enhancing the localization of its supply chain.
Midea, established in 1968 with its headquarters in Shunde, Guangdong, is primarily engaged in the manufacturing of household appliances. As for its international expansion, Midea has been active in this regard for some time. In 2010, Midea Group acquired a stake in Miraco, a subsidiary of Carrier, in Egypt, and established Midea’s manufacturing base in Egypt. This strategic move plays a significant role in extending Midea’s presence in Africa, the Middle East, and South Europe, while also expanding its footprint in the Middle East and Africa.
In 2020, Midea (Egypt) Kitchen and Water Heaters Co., Ltd. officially unveiled its operations in the Suez Canal Economic and Trade Cooperation Zone in Egypt. Subsequently, Midea established production bases for refrigerators, washing machines, and water heaters in Egypt.
Leveraging local supply chains and Midea’s robust manufacturing capabilities, Midea’s Egypt factory achieves a 60% localization rate for components. Local production has played a crucial role in market expansion. In 2012, Midea began local production of fan coil units for its HVAC products in Egypt. As a result, the market share for this product category increased from 2% in 2012 to 15% in 2015.
Haier, founded in 1984, is a well-known household appliance brand. Like other Chinese appliance brands such as Midea, Haier has been actively expanding into the African market and exporting its production capacity. However, unlike the recent trend of Chinese companies entering Africa, Haier’s presence in Africa dates back to the 1990s.
In 1998, Haier officially entered the African market. Through a “three-in-one” strategy of localized research and development, manufacturing, and marketing, Haier quickly opened up the Nigerian home appliance market within two years with original products that were based on user demand. Its influence soon radiated to surrounding regions.
As its reputation continued to grow, Haier established overseas air conditioner manufacturing bases in Algeria, Nigeria, and Tunisia in 2001. In 2019, Haier officially established a trading company in Egypt, and in 2020, it transitioned to a high-end localization branding approach.
According to data from 2020, Haier holds the sixth position in market share in Africa. In the Middle East and Africa region, the sales of white goods and kitchen appliances account for 4.5% of Haier’s global sales, with revenues reaching USD 200 million.
New Hope Group Limited is an enterprise primarily engaged in the modern agriculture, animal husbandry, and food industries. It was founded in 1982 and is headquartered in Chengdu, Sichuan. In 1998, the company went public on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange.
In June 2011, New Hope Egypt Limited was registered and established. It was the first overseas feed company invested in by New Hope and occupies an area of 22,932 square meters. The company specializes in producing high-quality feed for livestock and poultry. Agriculture is a major component of Egypt’s economy, accounting for 11.3% of the country’s GDP. The agricultural sector provides employment for 28% of the workforce, with over 55% of jobs in Egypt related to agriculture.
New Hope recognized the urgent need for agricultural transformation and upgrading in Egypt and introduced advanced formula technology, production management systems, and breeding service systems from China. After entering Egypt, it established four feed factories and one poultry breeding company. Its current operations encompass chick hatching, fish fingerling hatching, feed production and sales, farming, animal welfare, vaccines, animal medicines, food, and international trade.
At present, New Hope Egypt Limited provides Egyptian farmers with a systematic capability, including high-quality products, professional services, industry support, and financial assistance, resulting in an annual increase in farming profits of over CNY 150 million.
Angel Yeast is a Chinese food company that went public on the Shanghai Stock Exchange in 2000. It primarily manufactures yeast and yeast-derived products.
The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is a significant global market for yeast consumption, with an annual import demand of nearly 60,000 tons, and it still has considerable growth potential. In 2013, Angel Yeast entered Africa by establishing a factory in Egypt. By 2021, its African business had generated revenues of CNY 710 million, with a net profit of CNY 125 million.
Currently, Angel Yeast (Egypt) Limited employs over 900 local staff, including 56 Egyptian managerial employees and 14 Egyptian zone managers, achieving a high degree of localization in the company’s day-to-day management and operations. With the launch of new projects, the number of local employees is expected to exceed 1,000. The Egyptian factory has an annual production capacity of 15,000 tons of high-activity dry yeast, meeting both domestic demand in Egypt and allowing for significant exports to neighboring countries.
C&D Fashion（C&D服饰）C&D Fashion is a Chinese clothing company specializing in exporting clothing products to European and American countries. Faced with cost pressures related to labor, rent, taxes, and tariffs, in 2019, C&D Fashion established a factory in Rwanda, gradually growing to become the largest clothing factory in Rwanda and the largest jacket factory in Africa.
The advantages of establishing a factory in Africa are evident. Rwanda enjoys political stability, and local employees have higher professional qualifications. Additionally, by setting up factories in Africa, C&D Fashion can pay workers significantly lower wages and factory rents than in China while benefiting from full tax exemptions for exports to Europe and the United States. With tariff barriers increasing in the context of international trade tensions, C&D Fashion’s move to establish a factory in Africa reflects the “going global” trend of domestic clothing companies.
Looking ahead, leveraging domestic industry chains and expertise to establish factories in low-cost countries in Southeast Asia, Africa, and other regions, and selling to the European and American markets, will be an important avenue for textile and clothing companies. Currently, C&D Fashion’s four factories in Africa produce 2.5 to 3 million clothing items annually, with 90% of them exported to Europe and the United States, generating approximately CNY50 million in export sales. Orders continue to flow into C&D Fashion on a daily basis.
Founded in 1995, BYD has rapidly developed in recent years, primarily driven by its new energy battery technology and automotive production capacity. Since announcing its passenger car export strategy in May 2021, BYD has quickly expanded its early layout for passenger car exports and has already set foot in Japan, Singapore, Germany, France, Norway, and Australia.
Currently, BYD is focusing on emerging markets beyond developed countries. In November 2022, BYD officially announced a partnership with the leading Moroccan distributor group, Hakam Family Group, to provide new energy passenger cars to Moroccan consumers. This marks BYD’s first entry into an African country since announcing its “going global” strategy, signifying an important step in the globalization of BYD’s new energy vehicles.
New energy vehicles still have significant growth potential in Africa. Salim Fakir, the Executive Director of the Africa Climate Foundation, has noted that despite Chinese vehicles dominating in many African markets, the adoption of local electric vehicles is still relatively low. Currently, BYD has introduced the electric SUV ATTO 3 in South Africa, priced below USD 45,000, significantly lower than high-end European and American automotive brands. In the future, cost-effective Chinese automotive brands may offer more choices for African electric vehicle buyers.
Chery（奇瑞）Chery, established in 1997, operates in various sectors including passenger cars, commercial vehicles, and micro-cars. In 2012, Chery began its entry into the Kenyan market and started promoting Chery automobiles in Africa, establishing a sales and service network.
From the outset of entering the African market, Chery adopted a localization strategy. In 2014, Chery signed a partnership agreement with an automotive manufacturing company in Egypt, introducing Chery automobile assembly plants to Egypt. This move significantly reduced tariffs and logistics costs, making Chery cars more competitively priced.
Furthermore, Chery conducted numerous marketing campaigns locally to increase consumer awareness of the brand. By 2016, Chery’s automotive sales in Africa had grown by 180% year-on-year, successfully establishing Chery automotive networks in 10 African countries, including South Africa, Egypt, Kenya, Ghana, and Tunisia.
Didi was founded in 2015 and went public on the New York Stock Exchange in 2021 (it delisted in June 2022). It is a global mobile travel technology platform. After establishing a leading position in the Chinese market, Didi accelerated its international expansion in 2021.
On March 1, 2021, Didi entered the markets of South Africa and Egypt. South Africa, being the most developed economy in Africa, had a significant demand for ride-hailing services and presented promising market potential. However, after operating for 13 months, Didi closed its ride-hailing operations in South Africa in April 2022. Market analysts at the time attributed Didi’s exit from the South African market to strong competition from rivals, regulatory pressures at home, and the recurring pandemic situation.
In Egypt, Didi offers services such as Waslny, Waslny Plus, and Didi Express. Egypt has an internet penetration rate of 71.9%, making it the most active country in the entire Middle East and North Africa region in terms of the internet economy. When entering the Egyptian market, Didi engaged in a “cash burning” battle to gain market share. To attract more drivers, Didi announced that drivers registered in Alexandria could enjoy 28 days of zero commissions and receive a bonus of EGP 150 (around CNY33) after completing 10 trips. Once Didi established itself in Egypt, it gradually adjusted its subsidy level to match Uber’s and implemented more fine-tuned and localized operational strategies, including improving payment methods and enhancing safety features.
Internet and digital economy
As a representative of fast fashion e-commerce, SHEIN’s global expansion has covered mature markets in Europe and the Americas, as well as numerous emerging markets. Since entering its first African market, Morocco, in May 2022, SHEIN has consistently ranked among the top shopping applications on the African continent, with a leading average monthly usage duration. Particularly, SHEIN has shown remarkable performance in South Africa. In August 2023, according to Bloomberg, SHEIN has surpassed Walmart and Amazon to become the most downloaded shopping application on Google Play in South Africa.
Compared to Nigeria and Egypt, South Africa, as an established industrialized nation in Africa, is known for its mature business environment. According to Statista data, it is estimated that the e-commerce transaction volume in the South African market will reach USD 6.36 billion by 2023, with an e-commerce user penetration rate of 49.4%. Additionally, from 2020 to 2025, the e-commerce market in Africa is projected to have an average annual growth rate of 15.5%, with the market size reaching USD 40.758 billion by 2025.
Furthermore, according to the latest reports, SHEIN is planning a new round of financing and is in negotiations with potential investors, including equity firm General Atlantic, with the goal of raising USD 1 billion. If the financing is successful, SHEIN’s valuation will reach USD 100 billion.
Boke is a mobile gaming company located in Shanghai. Founded in 2010, they specialize in developing targeted casual games based on the cultural characteristics of different countries around the world. Currently, Boke has over 500 million registered users globally, with 60 million monthly active users. Among them, 70% come from international markets. Their product distribution spans across more than 200 countries and regions worldwide.
In August 2022, Boke launched the mobile game “Domino Cafe” in Egypt. This game, often seen in Egyptian cafes, had a significant presence in real life. In 2023, it ranked first on the Android download chart and in the gaming category for two consecutive months.
Opay, a subsidiary of KUNLUN TECH, was established in 2018 with the specific purpose of serving the mobile payment market in Africa. In the same year, Opay launched its mobile wallet in Nigeria.
Opay aims to create the “Alipay of Africa” by offering digital payment, ride-hailing, food delivery, and other services in the African market. They have successfully completed three rounds of financing, garnering over USD 570 million in investment since their inception. Investment firms include SoftBank Asia, Meituan-Dianping, Meituan-Dianping-DragonBall, GGV Capital, Source Code Capital, BAI Capital, Redpoint Ventures, IDG Capital, Sequoia China, and GSR Ventures.
After achieving success in Nigeria, Opay has expanded its operations to Kenya and Egypt, deepening its presence in Africa. In just five years, Opay has quickly become one of Africa’s most competitive fintech unicorns. Currently, Opay has nearly 40 million registered users, with a transaction volume of USD 50 billion in 2022. In May 2023, Opay’s wallet business achieved over ten million monthly active users, marking an impressive accomplishment.
With the increasing prevalence of smartphones and the internet in Africa, the e-commerce industry on the African continent is rapidly growing. Africa has become an emerging market of great interest for the global e-commerce industry.
In 2017, entrepreneur Zhang Xindong recognized the opportunity in this growing market and, after conducting market research in South Africa, founded BUFFALO, a Sino-African cross-border e-commerce logistics company, in Shanghai. BUFFALO offers cost-effective services for Sino-African cross-border online trade and local online retail trade in Africa, providing fast and direct sales channels for consumers in both Africa and China.
In its founding year, BUFFALO secured investments from three fund institutions, including Daguan Capital, Shenzhen City Blue Asset, and Atom Ventures. Currently, BUFFALO has established its independent bonded warehouses, overseas warehouses, and sorting warehouses, with nearly ten thousand square meters in each category. They also have their own delivery fleet and have built a fully self-operated end-to-end cross-border e-commerce logistics and distribution service from China to South Africa.
Going forward, BUFFALO not only focuses on logistics but also plans to become the largest trade service provider between China and Africa, covering three major areas: logistics, supply chain, and finance. As of now, BUFFALO has become the largest B2C logistics service provider for Sino-African cross-border online trade and the largest online retail channel service provider in Sino-Africa. According to founder Zhang Xindong, BUFFALO’s annual revenue has reached CNY several hundred million.
KilimallKilimall entered the African market in July 2014, is the first Asian enterprise to enter the African Internet industry, and is also the only overseas local + Chinese cross-border e-commerce platform in China, dedicated to creating a one-stop international online transaction service platform integrating the functions of multinational orders, transactions, payments, and delivery.
In 2012, Yang Tao, a Huawei employee who assisted local telecom companies in Africa to establish a mobile payment platform, after seeing the many inconveniences of e-commerce shopping for local consumers, founded the e-commerce platform Kilimall in Kenya in 2014, which has rapidly developed into the largest e-commerce website in Kenya. Currently, more than 8,000 Chinese and African enterprises and individuals have started businesses on the platform, opening more than 12,000 stores and selling about 1 million kinds of goods.
The rapidly growing Kilimall has also expanded its business territory to Uganda and Nigeria. Facing the lack of infrastructure in Africa, Kilimall also provides Lipapay, an online payment system, and KiliExpress, a logistics system, aiming to promote the development of Africa’s digital economy and further strengthen China-Africa e-commerce and digital economy cooperation.
Today, Kilimall has become the largest B2C export platform in Africa, with monthly sales of 300,000 sellers growing by 300% year-on-year, a repurchase rate of 60%, and an average customer unit price of USD 30, making it a trusted and favorite shopping channel for African consumers.Kilimall had received a USD tens of million angel round of financing from Anzhi Capital in January 2016, and continued to receive a USD 10 million Series A funding in 2017.
Egatee is a B2B e-commerce platform established in January 2022. It is dedicated to providing one-stop online trading, brand operations, local distribution, payment settlements, and other services for retail terminals and global brand merchants in emerging markets like Africa.
Currently, Egatee has launched country-specific websites and city-based cloud warehouses in Nigeria, Uganda, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, and other countries. They have served over 100,000 international merchants, spanning various sectors such as fast-moving consumer goods, electronics, fashion, automotive parts, pharmaceuticals, and more.
Since its launch in January 2022, the Egatee platform has experienced rapid growth, with a total transaction volume approaching CNY 800 million. In 2023, Egatee plans to gradually expand its operations to 15 countries south of the Sahara. They aim to empower local markets with digital capabilities, enhance local supply chain channel development, and actively assist global brands in establishing their presence in the African market. This will enable the people of Africa to enjoy high-quality, affordable, and diverse products. Previously, Egatee secured investments from Yiwu Small Commodity City（义乌小商品城） and Gaorong Capital（高榕资本） in CNY tens of millions.
For pharmaceutical companies expanding into international markets, Africa represents a vast potential market. Currently, the total population in Africa is 1.43 billion, and it has one of the highest birth rates globally. With urbanization and industrialization progressing, Africa is gradually becoming a significant growth market.
Historically, much of Africa has depended on importing pharmaceuticals, and the substantial demand for medicines indicates significant growth potential for the pharmaceutical industry in Africa. According to IQVIA data, the African pharmaceutical market reached USD 25 billion in 2022, and it is projected to reach USD 34 billion by 2027, with an expected annual compound growth rate of 6%.
Since 2009, Fosun has been establishing its own marketing teams and networks in Africa, with subsidiary companies in Ghana, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, and Tanzania, as well as offices in Kenya, Uganda, Malawi, and Zambia. The company has built a professional sales team of nearly 150 people, covering countries in both French-speaking and English-speaking regions, and has gained a foothold in the African market. Fosun further expanded its sales network by acquiring Guilin South Pharmaceutical and Tridem Pharma’s African business.
In the African market, Fosun has established five regional distribution centers and initiated the construction of a complex in Ivory Coast that combines pharmaceutical research, manufacturing, and logistics distribution. This investment aims to achieve localized pharmaceutical manufacturing and supply in Africa.
Traditional Industries and the Digital Economy – Two Major Directions for Overseas Africa
Africa, with its abundant natural resources and large population, is emerging as an attractive market for business expansion. With improved political stability and the acceleration of regional economic integration, Africa’s economic prospects and consumer potential are becoming increasingly evident. This largely undeveloped land on the global economic map holds significant opportunities for Chinese enterprises.
Initiatives like the Belt and Road Initiative and the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) have provided extensive platforms for economic, commercial, and human talent exchanges between China and Africa. This has not only driven the development of the African economy but also created growth opportunities for Chinese companies.
Currently, Africa accounts for only 1% of the global digital economy. However, its large population and rapid development make it an attractive destination for leading companies worldwide. Major sectors driving the rapid growth of Africa’s digital economy include financial technology (fintech), e-commerce, media and entertainment, mobile phone applications, and supply chain management.
According to data from the Global System for Mobile Communications Association (GSMA), mobile technology and services contributed 8% to the GDP of sub-Saharan Africa in 2022 and created over 3.2 million direct and indirect job opportunities. With over 600 million mobile money accounts, Africa provides the necessary foundation for the growth of the internet economy.
In addition to traditional industries such as home appliances, telecommunications, and food, more and more gaming companies, e-commerce enterprises, and digital supply chain companies entered the African market around 2014, taking advantage of the growth of Africa’s digital economy.
Companies like Pokey City, Didi, and KUNLUN TECH were among the early entrants into relatively economically developed countries with mature infrastructure like South Africa, Egypt, and Kenya. Given the lower level of internet economy development in Africa, Chinese internet companies leveraged their mature domestic operational experience and management methods to quickly acquire users and open up the market.
E-commerce also represents another significant track in Africa’s digital economy. In 2022, Africa’s e-commerce market reached USD 24.8 billion. E-commerce ecosystem companies such as BUFFALO, Kilimall, Egatee, and SHEIN entered the African market around 2015 and quickly grew into regional representatives. However, to expand their reach and establish a presence in pan-African markets, these companies need to address challenges like logistics bottlenecks due to underdeveloped infrastructure and low online payment adoption rates.
Traditional manufacturing enterprises such as BYD, Chery, Midea, and Haier represent another major trend in expanding into Africa. As global industries shift, and domestic production costs rise, the low labor costs and substantial markets for home appliances, automobiles, and electronics in Africa offer new perspectives for Chinese enterprises.
According to Statista, the revenue in the African home appliance market is expected to reach USD 61.36 billion in 2023, with a compound annual growth rate of 7.53% forecasted for 2023-2028. Under the Belt and Road Initiative, private manufacturing companies have transitioned from “selling globally” to “establishing a local presence” in Africa. They are building factories in Africa, deeply engaging with local communities, and transforming into a new type of global enterprise characterized by “originating from China and winning locally.
Looking ahead to the future
In July this year, the African Development Bank pointed out that the African economy will continue to maintain strong momentum, with a growth rate higher than the global average. Africa’s GDP growth rate reached 3.8% in 2022, also surpassing the global average. This year, the average growth rate is expected to reach 4.0%, and it is projected to further increase to 4.3% in 2024. Africa has become one of the regions with the most significant economic recovery and the strongest growth among all global regions.
Under the Belt and Road Initiative, China has recently introduced a series of favorable policies to promote foreign trade, cross-border e-commerce, and cross-border e-commerce logistics. These policies have created a favorable environment for conducting international trade and encouraged Chinese companies to expand overseas. Africa, as a vital direction under the Belt and Road Initiative, is becoming a destination with lower external uncertainties for Chinese companies looking to expand globally.
However, companies venturing into Africa still need to address real-world challenges such as inadequate transportation and communication infrastructure, lower internet and mobile internet penetration rates, and limited retail business formats. The lag in basic infrastructure, uneven regional development across Africa, and China’s limited historical knowledge of the African market present challenges for industries aiming to scale their operations in Africa.
In the context of adjustments in the global political and economic landscape and the new decade of the Belt and Road Initiative, it is expected that more companies will pay attention to the opportunities in Africa. They will conduct on-site assessments to evaluate the feasibility of entering the African market, gradually making this ancient continent a part of the mainstream discourse in China’s global expansion endeavors.