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Corporate Activity In Africa – Has Covid-19 Opened Opportunities For Investors?

COVID-19 has brought certain industries into sharper focus, either because they came to a virtual standstill early in the pandemic, or because demand for their products and services has surged. On the growth side, healthcare and pharmaceuticals have surged amid the pandemic for obvious reasons – which has also highlighted Africa’s reliance on medical and other supplies from abroad. To unlock opportunities in this space, there is an urgent need for governments, regulators and business to embrace technology and invest in medical supply chains. Given that there is no single bank offering services across Africa, opportunities are there for the taking in the fintech, particularly mobile money and space. In Zambia, for example, we have seen deals anchored on geographical expansion in the fintech, e-commerce and financial services sectors, and east African remains an important hub for growth, development and innovation in this space. Despite the general slowdown of FDI in Ethiopia, significant activities leading up to the planned telecom sector liberalization are underway.  Nonetheless, critical industries in Ethiopia (including financial services, retail, and import trade) remain reserved for domestic investors.