Africa is the 21st century's version of America's early days, the wild frontier. A continent of opportunity, fraught with risk but full of reward for those who are bold and adventurous. The continent has 54 different economies and in the past decade, Africa as a whole has started to take large developmental steps. However, the growth being experienced isn't evenly spread. Some regions are growing significantly faster than others, and, on the same note, some sectors of business are booming whilst others are languishing.
Despite the progress that is being made, there are several issues that hinder a more rapid expansion of economic activity in the region. The first issue is the availability of financing. Surplus capital within the continent is limited and external investors will often dismiss Africa as an investment location because of the perceived risks.
Despite challenges, the advancement of technology, the population boom and the spread of the capitalist mindset within the younger generations is driving a period of dramatic change. Even some of the poorest people can afford advanced means of communication such as mobile phones or an internet connection. Opportunity abounds for those who wish to deliver value through mutual and voluntary transactions. A new generation of African millionaires are in the making and they all have one thing in common, they're identifying products and services that are in demand and they're providing them, despite the risks associated with doing so. Identifying what sectors and players are set to benefit from the boom is paramount to successful investment in the region.
The West African population is set to rise from 304 million to 744 million by 2050. This increase in population coupled with urbanization and rising incomes will place increased demand on the agricultural sector to produce the food, fiber and fuel that will be needed.
Both the area of land under cultivation and the yield attained in cropping operations will need to increase to meet these demands. An increased usage of arable land and the attainment of larger yields will require a substantial increase in the amount of fertilizer that is used by farmers in the region.
According to the FAO, the total amount of land used for cultivation accounts for only 37% of the total arable land. This is a small percentage and there is considerable arable land that can be brought into production, given the availability of fertilizer and water.
To produce the required amount of food, phosphate usage will have to increase from 185,000 tonnes per year to 2,079,000 tonnes per year by 2030. This presents an enormous opportunity for Great Quest.