Sub-Saharan Africa is comprised of 46 countries and over 960 million people. The region has the world’s largest untapped natural resources, youngest population by 2050 and considerable capacity to provide stable food supply globally.

In the past 20 years Sub-Saharan Africa has benefited from improved communication and globalisation resulting in enhanced leadership and governance. South Africa is set to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games.


Despite a recent slowdown due to the sharp decline in global commodity prices, economic growth is forecast at 3.5%. The two largest economies, Nigeria and South Africa account for over 63% of Sub-Saharan Africa’s total GDP.

There has been substantial progress in financial development, including mobile payments technology and the emergence of Pan-African banks. The IMF forecast that this financial development could add a further 1.5% to regional economic growth. The improved business environment in specific countries and favourable demographics can support growth drivers in the medium-term.

Sub-Saharan Africa’s long term growth will be driven by a combination of mineral, oil and gas and land resources and its unique demography.


There are significant long-term opportunities in the region for Queensland agribusiness capabilities.

For example, the east African coastal food bowl has access to abundant supplies of fresh water, and if overlaid onto Australia, would cover an area stretching from Townsville to Melbourne and Mt Isa to Adelaide.

Increasing international concerns over global food security are driving the development of African arable land and investment in agricultural infrastructure and associated industries, with significant investment from sovereign wealth funds via the Gulf.

Akosombo Hydroelectric Power Station on the Volta River supplies with energy almost whole Ghana and half of Togo, West Africa.

Sub-Saharan Africa opportunities

CurrentMid termLong term


  • METS & Mining
  • Agribusiness – technology and services
  • Vocational education
  • Tertiary education

Mid term

  • Education & training
  • Innovative technology
  • Infrastructure & construction – particularly power, ports and rail.

Long term

  • Agricultural services
  • Renewable energy
  • Oil and Gas ETS

Sector opportunities…for education only

Estimated 200+ ASX-listed companies


Pipeline of mining investment across targeted Sub-Saharan African markets is in the billions.

Common issues include

  • suitable infrastructure,
  • water scarcity,
  • high energy & operational costs,
  • sustainability
  • and safety.

Companies with advanced technology and services with solutions should consider Sub-Saharan Africa.

45% of the worlds arable unfarmed land

Food & agribusiness

Sub-Saharan Africa is home to vast arable land and well placed to further scale up agricultural production and trade with appropriate infrastructure, regulations and water management.

There are opportunities for companies offering solutions for

  • efficient use of water and other resources,
  • and sustainable growth of agricultural and food production.
123 Million growth in the middle class

Education & training

Sub-Saharan Africa’s increasing youth and increasingly wealthy population will increase demand for access to quality education. This will create major challenges domestically for school education and for VET and Higher Education,

There is a strong demand for Sub-Saharan African companies and governments to provide industry with a highly-trained workforce.

Sub-Saharan Africa is looking for innovative and efficient techniques to bridge the skills gaps to increase productivity levels, safety standards and the efficiency.

Relevant library resources Complete library

Sub Sahara Africa Market Overview

Sub Sahara Africa Market Overview

September 30, 2016

Export market overview and commissioner profile for Sub-Saharan Africa

View this resource

Commissioner’s intel: How to take your business to Sub-Saharan Africa

View the videos below, and hear from TIQ’s Trade and Investment Commissioner for Europe, Ken Smith, as he speaks of the opportunities in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Ken Smith: opportunities in mining & resources sector

Ken Smith: Tips for entering the Sub-Saharan Africa market

Ken Smith: opportunities in food & agribusiness sector