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Opportunities in focus sectors

The Trade Council has chosen a set of sectors to specialise in, as they offer vast opportunities in the South African market.

Opportunities in the water sector

Even though access to improved drinking water increased by 20 percent in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) over the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) period from 1990 to 2015, the region fell short of achieving its MDG target of 74 percent access to improved drinking water. This means that today, more than one third of people living in SSA do not have access to improved water resources. In SSA, access to water is not necessarily limited due to physical lack of water, but rather due to lack of investments in water resources, infrastructure and capacity building as well as poor waste management. For this reason, Danish water companies should see a key opportunity in exporting their technologies, expertise and integrated solutions to the SSA region.



Opportunities in the energy sector

In Sub-Saharan Africa, only 31.8 pct. of the population has access to electricity, this number is higher in South Africa where the electricity coverage is 84% of the population. The population increase together with the fastest urbanisation rate in the region means that the existing energy infrastructure is insufficient to meet the requirements of the people. The need for electricity and lacking infrastructure is a huge challenge to Sub-Saharan Africa; however, it represents a key opportunity for Danish companies with innovative and energy efficient solutions. Climate change is, as in the rest of the world, a challenge for Sub-Saharan Africa and drives the need for alternative power sources such as wind and solar energy. Due to the fact that the growing population and middleclass will produce larger amounts of garbage, bio energy technology could also be an opportunity for Danish companies producing innovative solutions modified to emerging markets. Finally, oil and gas also present an opportunity to Danish companies. These sectors remain relatively new and underdeveloped, and thus foreign expertise and technology is needed to further develop the industry.



Opportunities in food and agriculture

The Sub-Saharan African market within food and agriculture has many investment opportunities for Danish companies. The Sub-Saharan African market is characterised by a growing population, rising income levels and underutilised land, which needs further investments to meet the growing demand for food. The African population has the fastest urbanisation rate in the world, which means that there is an increasing demand for food, and that the African food system will require substantial investments in order to guarantee food security. Furthermore, GDP per capita in Sub-Saharan Africa doubled from 2000-2016 from US$1900 to US$3800 meaning the middleclass is growing. We will therefore see a shift towards processed food, which is a unique opportunity for companies within this area. Investment in agriculture has already raised productivity and supported growth in several Sub-Saharan countries and is needed to develop the underutilised land in the future.



Opportunities in health

Africa has a young and rapidly growing population, but the region’s healthcare sectors remain among the worst in the world. The Sub-Saharan African market for health is characterised by increasing income and a move towards a social security system. The middleclass is growing, which means that more people can afford treatment and that they demand better healthcare, but also that there has been a switch towards lifestyle diseases. Companies taking up the challenge of implementing or scaling-up health systems can help the African Governments towards implementing universal. Urbanisation, change in disease patterns and the fact that more people are able to pay for their own health care is a unique opportunity for healthcare companies interested in investing in Sub-Saharan Africa.