There is an ongoing debate in financial and business circles that concerns the potential of ‘resource rich’ Africa as a future investment. Africa is a continent that is rife with potential that has arguably never been fully realized. The people, the raw materials and vast small to medium-sized business sector should be the drivers of change across the continent.
However, in order for such goals to be realized the logistics sector across the continent must change various aspects of its foundational components. This has been an ongoing discussion and perhaps now that we need to make concessions as to the amount of carbon we use, it is time to look for new industries and these new opportunities will need professional and reliable logistics and transport to flourish.
Below are some areas which need improving, providing great business opportunities that will provide for wealth generation and job creation across Africa.
The road and rail network requires serious investment and upgrades if there are to be any expectations of increased traffic and a seamless flow of resources and goods. The same can be said for the communication and internet connectivity infrastructure that is essential for the movement of goods and services. The big players on the continent such as South Africa and Nigeria have working transport networks, but there are vast interior areas that need a cogent transport and communication system to be established for financial growth and social development. There can be no growth and development in Africa, for Africa and by Africans unless there is a vast improvement to the infrastructure network across the continent.
Safety and security
There are areas of concern around both the safety of goods in certain shipping lanes to and from the continent. As well as the health and safety standards of those employed throughout the logistics supply chain on the continent. From driver standards to levels of pay and warehousing health and safety, these are all of concern if there is to be international fair and genuine trade.
By using the latest tech, allowing providers to find truck loads and perhaps using the American and UK firm Shiply as an example in this regard. It’s about the integration and the ability to track, monitor and improve deliveries. The Nigerian example Kobo 360 is a local example that is making enormous strides in this regard. It connects everyone in the supply chain and with further development may be able to provide the continents logistics sector with details of truck loads and deliveries that are being made.
Training and development of human resources
The African human resources must be further developed to be able to embrace the changes and enhancements as aforementioned. It must be the local workforces that are used to build and reengineer physical infrastructure as well as then managing technological improvement and adaption and use.
Regardless of whether the resources are exported in their raw form or if African manufacturing is enabled to produce goods that the rest of the world needs. Theses goods or resources will then need to be transported across the world. Hence the importance of a modern, efficiently functioning logistics sector that will allow intercontinental as well as transcontinental movement of goods, services and resources both natural and human.