Most areas in Sub Saharan Africa enjoy up to 300 days of sunlight every year. Most countries in Africa still do not have uninterrupted power supply. The people often have to rely on generators powered by diesel or petrol; this often leads to air pollution and a noisy environment. Though a country like Nigeria has an abundant supply of crude oil, there is often fuel scarcity due to a lack of refineries, which leads to high petrol and diesel prices.
Since solar energy is a renewable form of energy, free and does not cause pollution, this is a very good alternative. Many countries in Africa are converting to this mode of energy, for example in South Africa the renewable Energy Independent power producer procurement programme has awarded 965 MW of new solar capacity. A solar energy provider in Tanzania called Off Grid Electric raised $25 million from foreign investors and won $5 from USAID. By 2017 this company hopes to supply power to 1 million homes in East Africa.
A renewable energy developer called GreenWish Partners will invest $280 million to build 200MW worth of solar PV plants in Nigeria. A 100MW solar plant in Enugu, 50MW in Kaduna and Jigawa state. By the first quarter of 2018 this will provide power to 2.5 million people, the Nigerian government is supportive of this plan.
For people interested in going into this form of business, you stand a chance of making a lot of money by right now because renewable energy is still at its early stages in Africa. In the next 15 years this will be a multibillion-dollar industry.
Internet Service Provision + Fiber Optics
There has been an increase in the demand for quality telecommunication and Internet service in Africa. Tech giants such as Google and Facebook are rushing to provide Internet access to millions of Africans. Google has launched a project called Project Loon and Facebook, Free Basics.
Some African Entrepreneurs are starting to move into the market, a company in Kenya called BRCK created a rugged Internet modem designed for environments with limited Internet connection and electricity. The modem can hop between Ethernet, WiFi, 3G and 4GThis invention has sold thousands of units in 54 countries.
The Internet is quite slow in a lot of countries; this is why certain companies are beginning to introduce fiber optics technology. In Nigeria, MainOne and Glo are leading the market in Nigeria.
Poor access to capital has choked enterprise and small business prospects across Africa, though Africa is filled with a lot of talent. There are a lot of young and educated people with only a few job opportunities available.
Banks are becoming more hesitant in loaning money to startups and there are a lot of startup companies springing up all across the continent. This problem is attracting venture capital, private equity and social impact funds. In 2015 over $500 million was invested into startup companies in Africa. As of early 2016, there are now more than 200 investment firms and platforms.
Though most start up companies fail within the first 5 years, many of the companies that survive end up making millions. Agricultural and technological start ups are more likely to make a lot of money than other startups in Africa.
Please note this is only the second part to this series. I will suggest you read the first part if you haven’t already. There is still more to come.