Have you ever wondered what goods or products Africa imports? We compiled a list of the five major African imports over the past decade.

1. Vehicles

Over the past decade, the automobile industry has boomed over the African continent. Led by a sharp urbanization rate and rapid growth in several countries, vehicles make it to the top position of Africa imports. As more and more people move from low-income status to the middle class, the demand for vehicles, personal and commercial, keeps increasing steadily.

Major import firms in Africa used to focus on high-end buyers, who can afford expensive models and brands. However, in more recent times, importers are starting to cater to the middle class, by bringing in used vehicles from China and Japan.

2. Computers and IT products

While almost totally absent a decade back, in today’s world computers and IT are mainstream in certain parts of Africa. Developed countries and businesses on the continent have been moving towards automation and digitization. Africa has one of the highest growth rates for IT products in the world.

Ironically, there are big IT manufacturers scattered across Africa, but they are unable to keep up with the ever rising demand for IT equipment on the continent. For instance, South Africa’s computer market is valued at more than $1 billion!

3. Pharmaceuticals

Human health is a huge concern and challenge in Africa, with the majority of the population unable to afford decent healthcare. Moreover, with the huge gap in the demand and supply chain most pharmaceutical providers are unable to provide competitive prices.

Most pharmaceutical imports on the African continent are from India and China. These two countries are the world’s biggest manufacturing hubs for generic drugs and hence. Pharmaceutical African imports represent around $17 billion annually.

4. Food

Africa was once a major exporter of agricultural products to other parts of the globe. However, in recent times, the tide has changed, and the continent is now heavily dependent on food importation.

The ever-expanding population, poor infrastructure, mismanagement of local agricultural industries, and the emergence of the middle class all contribute to this massive demand for food. Food imports account for almost half of all the imports made into the continent.

5. Electronics

Africa primarily relies on external players in the electronics industry to fill its need for electronic gadgets, such as television sets, radios, etc. As more and more countries progressively gain access to electricity, the demand for electronics is steadily rising.

8 out of 10 electronic products on the Africa continent comes from Asia. This trend will very likely keep going upward as electric becomes accessible and urbanization extends.

With the steady growth rate of the Africa, there is no doubt that the continent have huge business opportunities up for grabs.


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