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Why Singaporean businesses are targeting Africa's digital sector

Why Singaporean businesses are targeting Africa's digital sector

Continent's e-commerce market is estimated at US$75 billion by 2025, according to Enterprise Singapore.

Enterprise Singapore, the Southeast Asian island nation's government agency for championing enterprise development, has successfully facilitated close to 50 projects for Singaporean businesses in the last two years, and is increasingly targeting the Africa's digital space.

The mission of Enterprise Singapore is to help homegrown companies access global opportunities, and the organisation has been scaling up its activities in Africa, helping almost 50 projects in the last two years.

Eighty percent of these projects were undertaken by SMEs, with over 60 Singapore companies present in Africa, operating across more than 40 African countries and multiple industries.

"Africa is one of the fastest growing internet economies in the world. The growth of the African middle class is driving domestic consumption. Purchasing habits are shifting towards e-commerce. Africa's e-commerce market is estimated at US$75 billion by 2025. This growth is comparable to that of the US$88 billion anticipated for Southeast Asia by 2025," Enterprise Singapore said.

"Singapore e-payments and e-services companies can partner African e-commerce companies to increase efficiencies, ensure payment interoperability, and access global markets."

The organisation said Singapore can also prove a good partner to Africa in Smart Governance and Smart City initiatives, such as e-government services and trade facilitation to improve citizen and trade engagements, and to increase the ease of doing business.

In the last year alone, Enterprise Singapore has helped more than ten Singaporean companies break into Africa's digital technology space, including e-commerce platforms and cross-border payments providers.

"We've been working with South Africa, Mauritius, Seychelles, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, Morocco, Libya, Tunisia and Egypt, and looking forward to expanding," said Enterprise Singapore.

It is hoped that through the investment and trade exchange, more African companies will see value in doing business in Singapore and with Singapore companies.

"African companies too can set up their base here. With a vibrant economy and strong network of financial and professional services, there is no doubt that Singapore is also a good source of talent for international businesses."

Enterprise Singapore will continue to expand its internationalisation efforts in Africa by launching "overseas centres" to facilitate in-market engagements with governments and the domestic private sector.

"Africa's rapid growth and thriving digital economy offers rich opportunities for Singapore companies seeking higher growth and market diversification. We are encouraged to see our local companies, including SMEs, venturing into Africa and gaining traction there," said Png Cheong Boon, Chief Executive Officer of Enterprise Singapore.

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