Foreign consumer-goods companies including Coca-Cola Co., Nestlé SA and Unilever PLC have been in Africa for decades without much competition from local players. Now, home-grown companies are expanding aggressively across the continent, eager to accommodate a growing middle-class among the billion-person population.
Among the most prominent of these consumer upstarts: African retailers such as Nakumatt Holdings Ltd. of Kenya, the top supermarket chain in East Africa, MTN Group Ltd., Africa’s largest cellphone provider, and South African restaurant chain Spur Corp. Nakumatt has expanded into three neighboring countries while 348-restaurant chain Spur has opened in seven other African countries.
Aiding Nakumatt and others’ cross-border expansion is an African gross domestic product expected to grow 4.3% this year from just under $1.5 trillion in 2009, according to the International Monetary Fund, a clip that trails only China and India among the world’s massive emerging markets. The growing investment and trade, from African companies in African countries, has helped cushion the continent from the shocks of the global economic crisis.
Commercial growth also is being fueled in part by the rise of young African banks that have opened branches across the continent, providing much-needed capital to local companies. Ecobank, from Togo, now has branches in 27 African countries and $9 billion in assets. In Nigeria, 10-year-old Guaranty Trust Bank PLC operates in five English-speaking West African countries.
I can think of others…. but I would presume that one gets the picture with these examples. The whole article, which is on the whole pretty upbeat, is here.