Africa, a continent of 54 countries and over 1.2 billion people, has vast untapped natural and human resources, and huge potential for growth. The prospects of growth for the continent are looking upward, with the vibrant and young population of Africa set to make strides in various booming industries.
While there are many challenges in our beloved Africa, a second look reveals that there are enormous opportunities in the journey towards solving much of these problems. If you are looking for ideas into industries with huge career and business opportunities in the continent, this post is for you.
Most In-Demand Jobs In Africa 2020
Agriculture account for about 15% of the continent’s GDP of over $2 trillion, making the industry the largest economic sector in Africa. World Bank projects that agriculture and agribusiness in Africa will grow to be a $1 trillion US dollar industry by 2030.
Half of the world’s fertile and yet-to-be-used land is in Africa. Yet Africa spends over $25 billion importing food every year. Interestingly, there has been a lot of sensitization in recent times attracting a lot of interest and investment into the agric sector. This is opening up lots of opportunities in his industry for commercial research and advisory, agricultural sales, food production, veterinary, farming journalism, farm management and many more.
Due to Africa’s booming economy and increase in the number of people living in urban areas, infrastructure will become vital to the continent’s growth. Banking systems, telecommunications, transportation, property, sewage, water and electrical systems will have to be constructed or improved, all needing skilled professions.
The continent also has a huge and profitable opportunity to explore and create green and sustainable energy, such as North Africa’s potential to be one of the main creators of renewable solar and wind energy. Skills for infrastructure can be absorbed from the fields of town planning, engineering, construction, business, architecture and technology. This is creating both white and blue collar jobs.
Extractive activities in minerals and energy sectors are currently responsible for economic growth in the West African region. Mining is set to grow as the continent boasts ample natural resources such as petroleum, diamonds, gold, iron, cobalt, uranium, copper, bauxite, and silver. With growth in mining comes the knock-off effect of growth in transportation, infrastructure and information and communication technologies (ICT). The oil and gas industry sector has become an important sector for the continent’s economic growth as 19 African countries are significant oil producers.
Mining is quite a broad sector, with jobs for professionals including scientists, engineers, geologists, surveyors, drillers, information and communications technology professionals, power plant operators and human resource managers. Key areas of study include engineering, geology, science and economics.
- Service Sector
As Africa’s middle class grows, more people have the purchasing power to patronize services. As a result the banking and financial services, ICT and retail services have experienced a boom in recent years.
Entering into the service sector would require skills in business management, retail management, economics and accounting. Brand management and marketing would also serve well as selling products requires good marketing, sales and advertising skills.
- Banking and Finance
Africa’s banking sector has grown significantly over the years. It is predicted that the sector will continue to provide attractive opportunities as governments allow private banks to operate and as the consumer class continues to grow. This provides employment seekers with ample opportunities in finance industries such as actuarial sciences, accountants and auditors. A degree in accounting, actuarial sciences or economics will serve well in providing skills in this sector.
- Information and Communication Technology
ICT is currently a major driver of economies in Africa, with mobile phone usage being the highest in the world. Investment in the growth of ICT infrastructure continues to grow rapidly and the continent is seeing growth in demand for software developers, Systems & Network Administrators, Business & System Analysts and Database, Technical and business architects, and business analysis.
Digital media skills like social media marketing, search engine optimization, web development, data analytics and more are also in high demand.
- Transportation and Logistics
The continent still has a significant amount of improvements to make on road, rail and ports transport networks. You can either see that as a problem worth complaining about or limitless opportunities for development and job creation. As the economy improves and businesses become established, transportation, logistics and warehousing become more significant.
Logistics infrastructure is set to unlock Africa’s economic growth while providing its people with employment opportunities. Also, logistics is essential in any manufacturing process as it links all the stages from finding raw materials to delivering the finished product.
A career in transportation would require sound knowledge of construction, architecture, town planning and logistics engineering and management, as well as business management. This career field absorbs worker from all fields and levels as it is supply chain driven.
- Media and Entertainment
In recent years, Africa’s entertainment industry has caught the attention of the world, with many actors, musicians, comedians and filmmakers flooding the international market with their work. Many African consumers access entertainment and information on their mobile phones, and this is set to grow as the African middle class grows.
With digital media platforms like Instagram, Facebook and YouTube, the entry barrier to the media and entertainment industry has been lowered to the barest minimum. It’s now easier to create, distribute and monetize content to a large audience on their mobile devices. There is huge opportunity in this industry for people with creative and technical skills.
Tourism is a booming industry in Africa, contributing 8.5% to the continent’s GDP and over 2% of employment in hotels, travel agencies, airlines and other passenger transportation services, restaurants and leisure industries. The continent is still considered as a hidden gem, and vast strides have been taken by most of the continent’s governments to make Africa attractive to tourists travelling for leisure reasons. The tourism industry should see a further spike in the near future.
Professionals entering into this sector would need to study specialized programmes in tourism and hospitality management. These programmes provide fundamental knowledge in tourism, economics, food service, customer service, hospitality and legal issues. Career fields include travel counseling, events management, hotels and resorts, cruise industry and airlines.
Africa needs more entrepreneurs now more than ever. It needs people who will be at the forefront of solving the many problems in the continent, and creating jobs as a result. Entrepreneurship on the continent has been growing significantly over the past few years and is said to become one of the main providers of employment on the continent. Instead of looking for jobs in these industries mentioned in this video, if you fancy the idea of being an entrepreneur, why not start business instead?
The fact that there are many challenges in the continent means that there are many opportunities to create wealth while solving the problems. Instead of just seeing the problems; start looking at the opportunities they present and how you can take advantage of them.