Ahead of Africa Day on 25 May, the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) says that online marketplaces can create as many as three million jobs in Africa over the next six years. Gugu Mjadu, spokesperson for the 2019 Entrepreneur of the Year® competition sponsored by Sanlam and BUSINESS/PARTNERS, says local entrepreneurs have a vital role to play in driving the additional economic activity that stands to be generated by online marketplaces.
“We know that the world is becoming increasingly digitised, and for Africa to keep up with the global digital revolution, we’ll need people on the ground who are able to drive innovation in this respect,” he says. “As each African country’s business landscape is unique, entrepreneurs who are familiar with the distinct characteristics of their respective countries will obviously be best positioned to do this.”
The BCG report suggests that the majority (58%) of these new jobs will be in the consumer goods sector. Already, the continent has experienced aggressive mobile growth, and the number of smartphone connections is forecast to double from 315 million in 2015 to 636 million in 2022, according to recent McKinsey research.
“The growth of mobile phones across the African continent has instantly brought the continent into the digital age, creating an increasing demand for online goods and services. The landscape is therefore ripe for e-commerce opportunity and we encourage entrepreneurs to make the most of this opportunity,” says Mjadu.