As we commence the New Year, entrepreneurs from all walks of life are already thinking of ways to improve their market share, operations and business. They are also thinking about new opportunities and frontiers for investment. Does 2013 present these opportunities?
From an economic standpoint, Africa is a growing market and any investor would want a piece of it. While India is one of the fastest growing economies today, East Africa is reported to have a comparatively larger middle class, which presents a large market and opportunity for growth.
Given the stringent economic and financial management by the government last year, I see better economic performance in 2013. I expect an aggregate growth of five per cent.
Further, I am looking at an improved currency performance and declining inflation. With this in the background, I am very optimistic about 2013.
First, the General Election presents an opportunity for event managers, printers and those who make publicity merchandise. PR firms will also enjoy a piece of the cake as they develop the campaign messages and hook them up with the media. With an estimated spend of Sh30 billion this is a real opportunity.
Second, as long as we are on earth, some basic needs remain. The food industry will continue to expand given the growth in population. This applies to agricultural, industrial and service sectors.
As the government implements the Constitution and resources head to the county, there will be opportunity for players in real estate, furniture and other office equipment.
In addition, those businesses that supply the government will indeed have a good year as public spending will increase both at the national and county levels.
The civil society will also be active before and after the elections. Their major spends will be on civic education. Creative solutions towards this end would prove fruitful.
As Kenya marks 50 years of independence, a wave of celebration will be created. This presents an opportunity in relevant merchandise. Indeed, jubilee celebrations will be a good wave to ride on in terms of art, fashion and culture.
The proposed Konza technology city, a Vision 2030 flagship project, will be the major highlight this year as it is expected to kick start.
While there is a lot of real estate trade going on around this idea, I urge caution given that the government is not selling the land in the actual city and a radius of 3km around it.
In the ICT industry, I see an opportunity in the migration from analogue to digital TV. My money is on the entrepreneur who will get cheaper top boxes and sell them at a lower price to the consumers.
Further, as we become more tech savvy, there will be a need for ICT security. As the government expands and businesses grow, the one who will provide lasting solutions will make real money in the end.
But more importantly in all these, East Africa is resource rich but limits production only to the primary industries, especially agriculture and mining. There are enough sectors where one factory can revolutionise business. The real money is in value addition.
Mr Odhiambo is the managing consultant of Elim Consulting. Email: email@example.com.