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5 Multinational Corporations Making Significant Investments in Africa

Africa is a continuing emerging market for many industries, from technology to transportation, and, as of recently, e-commerce. Multinational corporations are focusing their investments into Africa in support of the development of the industries on a continent that’s full of potential. These are five corporations investing significant amounts of resources into Africa.


Vodafone is one of the world’s leading multinational corporations in mobile technology industries. Over the past decade, Vodafone has made significant investments in Africa based on the predicted growth of mobile phone use across the entire continent. Africa’s population is nearing one billion people, and mobile technology is at the forefront of the growth for several reasons.

Communication capabilities continue to develop in Africa. With a growing population, more people are turning to mobile phone use to interact. Statistics show that in Africa, more people use mobile phones than have toilets.

Commerce is another significant area significantly scaling the growth of mobile phones. Mobile technology provides business with access to credit, sending, and processing payments. With a growing economic sector, mobile technology stimulates the growth of industry in Africa.

Vodafone has invested billions of dollars into Africa, establishing itself in countries including South Africa and Ghana. One method of their expansion has been the buying and selling of growing African-based mobile tech companies to add to its conglomerate and gain access to the current user base.

General Electric

General Electric (GE) is one of the largest multinational companies in the world that has maintained a stake hold in Africa for more than a century. GE’s mission in Africa is to support the long term growth of the continent and provide solutions to the gaps in the infrastructure of African communities. GE has headquarters established around Africa in countries such as Nigeria, Angola, Ethiopia, and Mozambique.

GE is a major infrastructure company that has invested in African industries including healthcare, transportation, power, aviation, and many more. The company has invested billions of dollars into these industries in Africa with hopes of improving access to a higher quality of life. Africa remains an emerging market with significant demand for improvements in each of these industries.

The widespread acceptance of GE comes from its focus on the African communities. It developed several programs to support the growth of Africa. Back to Africa, for example, is a program designed to bring talent back to Africa for people who left to go abroad for job opportunities. GE collaborates with the governments of many African countries to ensure that the work done in the country is for the benefit of everyone.


Volkswagen is in the process of implementing the goals outlined in its TRANSFORM 2025+ plan, bringing the company’s focus to be new and upcoming automotive markets around the world, including Africa. Over the years, Volkswagen has already been instrumental with investing hundreds of millions of dollars into Africa and as a result, attracting other substantial investments from companies related to the auto industry.

Volkswagen follows the trend of growing car sales in numerous African countries, many of which it has begun to establish major plants and factories. South Africa, Kenya, and Rwanda are a few countries with successful plants opened recently. The car-maker is also planning to open plants in Ghana and Nigeria under its current initiatives. Volkswagen is one of the top market leaders for consumer vehicles and also exports many of the cars produced in Africa.

The Germany-headquartered car company is investing in much more than new job opportunities in Africa. It has signed Memorandums of Understanding with several governments in Africa for testing mobility solutions for improved transportation in the respective countries. The tests include experimenting with ride sharing, improved car rental systems, and shuttle services.

Standard Bank Group

Standard Bank Group has recently shifted its focus on growth in international markets to continuing the support of the local markets around Africa. The refocus of their investments are to drive the financial and economic growth of Africa.

Standard Bank started in South Africa, and over the past 150 years, it has grown to a leading African financial services group. It’s the continent’s biggest lender with assets totaling over $128 billion. The company’s astronomical growth is attributed to the acquisitions made throughout Africa to improve the financial infrastructure. Malawi, the Ivory Coast, Tanzania, and Uganda are just a few of the countries that have grown recently with the Standard Bank (and subsidiaries) presence. The bank now operates over 1,000 branches in Africa and employs over 50,000 people worldwide.

Standard Bank recognizes that Africa is home and wants to take advantage of its native natural resources and consumer recognition for stimulating growth. The worldwide operations of Standard Bank give Africans access to international financial markets and service, otherwise unreached.


Long established companies aren’t the only multinational corporations making significant investments in Africa. Newcomer, Jumia, was founded in 2012 and is already expected to change the entire landscape of how shopping is done in Africa. Based on foreign investments, in 2016, Jumia was valued at $1.2 billion.

Jumia is Africa’s largest e-commerce platform, an industry in the very early stages compared to other parts of the world. Jumia is hoping to accomplish what Amazon has done in the US and Alibaba for China. With e-commerce shopping in the early stages across all of Africa, Jumia has nothing but opportunity ahead of them, hoping that their investment in the continent yields revolutionary changes for society.

Jumia currently has a presence in 14 countries in Africa. In these countries, online retail accounts for just 0.5% of economic activity, which is trending upward and expecting exponential results. Jumia will soon debut on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol JMIA, generating $175 million in investment going directly to Africa. The announcement signifies international support for the company and e-commerce potential in Africa.

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