For decades many have looked upon Africa as a continent riddled with poverty and with little hope. While this has been a justified view given the famine, poor governance and corruption that has been a common characteristic across the continent, the region has reached a turning point and it is one that presents a compelling investment case.

It is well documented that a wide range of African countries have experienced a consistent level of robust growth over the last decade. For example, Nigeria’s recent GDP rebasing positioned the economy as the largest in Africa and 26th in the world, with an average growth rate of 7.4% over the last decade; this example of Africa’s rapid growth story that cannot be overlooked.

As an African, every time I return to my own country I am astonished to see how much it has developed over the last decade. There have been improvements in the expansion of healthcare facilities, social policy, infrastructure and education, with the private sector playing a pivotal role. Although real challenges remain, they no longer seem impossible to overcome.

The rate of foreign direct investment within the region has been a major contributor to the increasing economic development across the continent. According to the Ernst & Young ‘2014 Africa Attractiveness Survey’, the continent has received the highest growth in the share of global foreign direct investment over the last decade. From an investor’s perception perspective, this is consistent with Africa’s relative attractiveness improving substantially in recent years.

If recent trends continue, with economic growth in Africa being among the strongest in the world, Africa will play an increasingly important role in the global economy. According to research conducted by Renaissance Capital, by 2050, the continent’s GDP will increase from $2 trillion today to $29 trillion in today’s money. To put this into perspective, the US level of GDP in April 2014 was estimated to be $17 trillion!

Businesses and individuals can help to build Africa’s future and ensure that the continent’s long-term potential is fulfilled; the time for businesses and individuals to act on Africa’s growth story is now! Early entry will allow businesses to establish their brands. While individual investments can generate returns from the increasing universe of opportunities in real estate, energy, healthcare, transport, agriculture and infrastructure across the continent.

As the negative perception that once overshadowed the continent diminishes, it is evident that investors are increasingly embracing Africa’s risk and complexities. The focus is now on Africa and your contribution to the growth story could generate long-term returns! As an individual, you may be wondering – ‘How can I invest in the African growth story?’ I have found the Homestrings investment platform a great way to access the market. Homestrings is an investment portal which provides the means to invest in projects, public-private company partnerships and bonds. More information can be found on the Homestrings webpage.

By Yvonne Haizel

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