Ask experts on Africa about the economic challenges there and the first thing they point to is likely to be the same: infrastructure. Ports, roads, telecommunications, power generation, airports — all need upgrading.
Ask those same experts about opportunities in Africa for foreign investors, and infrastructure will also be at or near the top of the list.
It’s a dichotomy much of the developing world experiences and must contend with: a wealth of raw materials manufacturing countries crave, yet limitations in the ability to get them to market.
In Africa’s case, infrastructure is a challenge, for the continent, and an opportunity, for those exporting to and importing from the world’s poorest continent.
Infrastructure-related export opportunities include equipment for the oil and gas, mining, power-generation, and telecommunications sectors. Agriculture, tourism and a developing middle class, particularly in wealthier countries such as South Africa, offer other opportunities.