In May we celebrated Africa Month and as a proudly South African company that serves the African continent, we wanted to place the spotlight on Africa as the next global manufacturing hub.

One of the vehicles to propel development in Africa is manufacturing as experts project that the robust sector could  hit 666,4 billion dollars by 2030. Manufacturing also holds potential as Africa navigates the path to recovery post the COVID-19 pandemic.

AFRICAN COUNTRIES WELL PLACED TO GRAB A BIGGER SHARE OF GLOBAL MANUFACTURING IN THE COMING YEARS.

The continent groups 54 economies and societies with variations as wide, if not wider, than those in Europe and Asia. Countries like Senegal, Rwanda, Mauritius, Cote D’Ivoire and Botswana have a strong track record of economic growth, stability and education. Six of the 15 fastest-growing economies in the world are in Africa.

Africa has the youngest population of any continent. By 2055, the continent’s 15-24 year-olds are expected to be more than double the 2015 total of 226 million. Between 2005 and 2014, manufacturing production in Africa more than doubled from $73 billion to $157 billion. The strongest growth has come from countries such as Uganda, Tanzania, and Zambia that have track records of prudent economic management and business-friendly reforms.

AFRICA’S NEW FREE TRADE AREA A GLOBAL GAME-CHANGER

Officially commencing on 01 January this year, the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) aims to reduce all trade costs and enable Africa to integrate further into global supply chains. The main objective of Africa’s free trade area is “to create a single continental market for goods and services, with free movement of businesspersons and investments”. Its remit is sweeping: from the reduction of tariffs among member countries, to introducing regulatory measures such as sanitary standards and removing technical barriers to trade. Founded in 2018, AfCFTA is a project of the African Union (AU) and presents a framework through which to deliver “inclusive and sustainable growth”. By July 2019, 54 of the AU’s 55 member states had signed the agreement.

DELIVERING VALUE IN AFRICA

“For us at Novus Holdings, we seek to expand our footprint in Sub-Saharan Africa. This is planned predominately  through literacy and education products, security printing (such as ballot papers and examination papers), as well as relevant retail packaging,” says Steve Thobela, Group Executive: Africa Business Development at Novus Holdings.  Over the years, we have established ourselves as a comprehensive commercial printing and packaging operation in Africa and while we currently operate entirely in South Africa, we service various customers across Africa. “Africa has endless potential and it’s an honour for us at Novus Holdings to be a contributor to the continent’s  manufacturing sector and unlock more value for all our stakeholders,” says Steve.

THE SIGNIFICANCE OF COLLABORATION

“For our customers, using an African-based company is more cost-effective and provides reliability as it eliminates the potential stresses that can come with using an oversees company such as shipping challenges, port delays due to bad weather or costly air freight services that contribute to carbon emissions,” continues Steve. In servicing  customers from various countries, we appreciate how important collaboration is in the process. “Communication and trust form the ultimate foundation of the partnership and we pride ourselves in providing quality customer service, starting from initial contact and continuing right all the way through to delivery of the order and even
thereafter,” concludes Steve.

NOVUS HOLDINGS AFRICA BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT TEAM

As we plan to further expand our footprint in Africa, we have a dedicated professional team which includes Steve Thobela, Group Executive: Africa Business Development and Hussein Khan, General Manager Sales: Coldset, Public Sector and Africa. Together they are focused on targeting and securing significant contracts and work in Africa within print and packaging.

Some of the work the Group has completed for Africa over the years include:

• 6,5 million books printed, picked, packed and delivered for 3 677 schools in Malawi.
• 2,2 million census forms printed in four days for Angola
• 100 million ballots in Nigeria elections
• 70 million ballots for 18 600 candidates, delivered in 12 days for the DRC elections
• 60 million ballots for the Uganda elections