SEATTLE, Washington — Africa’s economy is changing; its future is urbanizing. In sub-Saharan Africa alone, the population has increased by 4.1% annually, which is double the global average. By 2050, Africa’s overall population is expected to double. If this trend continues, it is estimated that Africa will hold 13 of the world’s 20 largest cities by 2100. This is why African startups altering the economy are so important.
Urbanization in Africa
It is clear that as Africa urbanized, the continent needs to develop its infrastructure, evolve its cities and build its economy. Globally, this trend of urbanization from innovative thinkers has formed worldwide and powerful businesses like Uber, Urban Us, Airbnb as well as many others whose primary goal is to grow their own countries economy. Like its global counterparts, Africa has set in place multiple innovative companies with goals to bolster urbanization, aid in looming healthcare needs and cultivate a lasting growth of the economy. However, It is a concern that if this urbanization goes unchecked, the African economy will deflate and general environmental upheaval will occur.
People throughout Africa realized that to keep up with their continent’s ever-progressing industrialization, they needed to bolster and find ways to sustain their economy. Through developing an entrepreneurial spirit multiple African’s have found a way to not only bolster their own economy but to aid the global economy through trade and correspondence. Below are just a few of the ever-growing companies throughout Africa that are harnessing industrialization to their benefits and aiding the international economy through their innovation and global correspondence.
mPharma in Africa
Co-Founder and CEO, Gregory Rockson, helped form mPharma because Africa’s economy is changing. He believes that “a world where a mother has to choose between medication for her health or education for her child is an unjust world.” Though the majority of countries in Africa have more of a handle on HIV and malaria, it is the consistent killers like diabetes, cancer and hypertension that are plaguing the lives of those on the continent. This problem only being fostered by the lack of pharmaceuticals and pharmacies throughout the continent.
Due to drugs being so scarce, African consumers are effectively forced to pay anywhere up to triple the amount of those buying the same drugs in other countries. As a result, many throughout Africa are not able to pay for their full treatment. Yet, Rockson is using this deficit within the economy and health industry as an opportunity. mPharma works with pharmaceutical companies to ensure patients can access real medications at affordable prices. The company negotiates lower prices that benefit all involved within the pharmaceutical industry. It helps more than 40,000 patients monthly through its network of more than 200 pharmacies.
LifeBank in Africa
Temie Giwa-Tubosun launched LifeBank in January 2016. LifeBank is a company focused on delivering blood, oxygen, plasma and vaccines throughout Nigeria. It has saved the lives of thousands of Nigerians. Partnered with hospitals and delivery systems, lifesaving pioneers travel all across the country, delivering medicine and fluids. To this day, LifeBank has saved more than 10,000 lives.
In Nigeria alone, there is a need for “up to 1.8 million units of blood every year.” Unfortunately, there is a deficit of at least “1.7 million pints of blood.” Through this partnership of hospitals and delivery systems, this small-scale experiment in Nigeria. LifeBank has saved countless lives could save even more worldwide.
OneUni And Daystar University
OneUni is Africa’s first smartphone degree program. It originated in California and recently partnered with Daystar University, in Nairobi Kenya. The two organizations came together to start a program that would aid those who want to gain higher education but who are unable to attend because of grades or lack of space within universities.
Together, they brainstormed a way to be able to help progress education within one of the most populated cities within Africa. OneUni realized that almost all members of the community own a smartphone, so they started on a way to provide smartphone education to thousands of Kenyans. Through the OneUni smartphone service and the Daystar education system, they orchestrated a brand new way to educate Africa.
Farming Sea Sponges
As the unemployment rates within Africa skyrocket, thousands of people have been determined to find a new source of income outside of the current corporate world. Many have started companies of their own. These businesses include capitalizing on tourism, ramping up industrialization through finding ways to efficiently make automobiles and finding new and innovative ways to produce food locally. Ideas revolutionize the economy and provide new opportunities for employment to all those within Africa.
Marine Cultures organized one such opportunity for multiple women within Zanzibar. Marine Cultures is a small, non-profit group originating in Zurich that has provided a way for young, single mothers within Zanzibar to farm sea sponges. Sea sponges are used throughout the world for removing make-up, as shower loofahs and can even remove things even as tough as paint from walls. Marine Cultures is provided with necessary research in a location where sea sponges are extremely prominent. It is also helping solve the problem of unemployment in Zanzibar.
Revolutionizing the Global Economy
As Africa’s economy is changing, new developments are being made. The idea of this continent becoming one of the most prominent and powerful nations throughout the world is coming to fruition. If Africans can keep up the spirit of entrepreneurial innovation and progression, estimates show the region will be worth $5.6 trillion as soon as 2025.
African startups altering the economy are the future of the success of the continent. Through continued trade and correspondence with Africa, global superpowers will see the benefits of a strengthened global economy for all, increased commercial production, multiplying of international resource and trade and continuous stability for businesses.
– Alexis LeBaron