of UK companies currently exporting to Africa believe there is opportunity for UK businesses to thrive on the continent. Meanwhile 70% of them said doing business in Africa was challenging, with corruption the biggest single issue followed by poor payment systems and infrastructure. However, the biggest opportunity for firms come from the reputation of British goods and services, followed by growing investment in infrastructure across the continent and an expanding middle class with greater disposable income.

UK companies have been urged to take advantage of the opportunities. Quoting Michael Hartig, director of Barclays Corporate Banking in Manchester:

“This is a ‘ground floor’ moment in many Africa economies, in which UK suppliers have the opportunity to build their brand in Africa at a time when a growing middle class is beginning to make long term brand decisions. “The UK should not be missing out.

“For many exporters Africa is the final frontier, and the vast and diverse nature of the continent and its people can make the trading with Africa seem simply too much of a challenge. However, the infrastructure across many of Africa’s largest economies is improving rapidly, and I encourage all UK businesses to view Africa as a fast growing new market to be explored.”

MenMedia report:

Two thirds of the 250 businesses surveyed believed this opportunities for UK firms would grow in the next five years, and a similar number believe they would increase the amount they export to Africa. South Africa is the top country for exporters, with 60 per cent saying they currently export there, followed by Nigeria with 37 per cent, Egypt at 35 per cent, Ghana at 24 per cent and  Kenya with 23 per cent.

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