I don’t know if you noticed, but this week TransUnion doubled down on Africa in a big way by announcing the opening of a new virtual Global Capability Centre in South Africa to provide support to clients around the world.
For a start, it’s a huge step forward for TransUnion’s strategy of becoming one global organisation; a digital-first organisation that embraces and promotes working from home. It’s part of an inexorable shift towards a more flexible working model that utilises best-in-class talent pools around the world to enable innovation and deliver value, while enabling stronger communities and thriving economies. This is what the future looks like, and we’re not just talking it, we’re living it.
So why Africa? For one, Africa has a future narrative. Between now and 2030, we’ll have the highest population growth in the world. More than 12 million Africans are forecast to have tertiary education by 2030. And with almost 60% of Africa’s population under the age of 25, we’re the world’s youngest continent by some distance. According to the United Nations, one-fifth of the world’s youth population lives in Africa - and if you include all people aged below 35, this number increases to a staggering 75% of Africa’s population.
Add to this the advances in technology we’ve seen over the past decade, like the introduction of 5G, and suddenly the things that were holding us back from accelerating our potential aren’t an issue anymore. Back in 2010, we threw a ring of fibre around the continent for the Football World Cup. It was a seminal moment, as it meant we could start connecting those that have with those that don’t. The new virtual model means anyone can have a job without having to physically be in a specific place.
The bottom line is that Africa is now able to lure multinationals to invest in the continent because we have the potential and the talent and capacity to fulfil it. Africa is open for business. Apart from South Africa, countries like Nigeria and Ghana2 are offering increasingly attractive incentives to global businesses.
So, with this talent and technology now available to you as a corporate leader in Africa, you have to ask yourself three questions:
The momentum is growing. It is Africa’s time. I can’t wait to see what the next five years brings.