Africa is blessed with an abundance of natural resources.
From Oil & Gas to critical minerals required for the energy transition, to bulk commodities, Africa has it all and in abundance. Extracting it efficiently, while having the correct infrastructure to deliver it to end-customers is just one part of the equation. Utilising these resources locally, with increased local beneficiation and end-product development becomes a necessary step which many African countries have not fully grasped. Even Oil rich countries such as Angola, have had limited in country refining and export raw material to global centres; limiting the amount of value generated locally.
Historically, economic wealth was largely determined by the ability to acquire, commodify, and commercialise the available natural resources, for example land. In contrast, the modern economic system generates much of its value by providing services to businesses, consumers, and other economic agents in what has been termed as the servicification of global value chains. Even though this is a real trend, the opportunity for Africa to stake its competitive position in extraction and utilisation of raw materials in the creation of products of value are opportunities of immediate and long-term potential.
The opportunity then to innovate, in staid and static industries, such as the mining and resources sector, is one in which consumers can be provided greater value which relates to questions of their needs and the utility provided by the solutions available. This, combined with developments in materials science and the increasing opportunity of small-scale manufacturing and construction, means that traditional industry value chains can further innovate to enhance competitiveness within an increasingly polarised global economy.
If we include dynamics such as the increasing ecological instability, shifting labour profiles and geopolitical uncertainty, it becomes clear that a new form of thinking and approach will be required to navigate questions of resourcing, value creation and integration within this evolving landscape. AIA has the expertise to assist organisations in asking the right questions and formulating informed opinions which lead to effective decision making that drives change.