Since the early 2000s, low-cost manufacturing has totally transformed the economies of China and other developing countries. The manufacturing industry now makes up roughly 40% of China’s GDP, playing a key role in expanding the middle class, driving consumption and reducing poverty.
Now, it’s Africa’s turn.
The African manufacturing industry must boost efficiency in order to overcome the challenges presented by our current, pandemic-driven market. This is according to Gerhard Hartman, VP for medium business at Sage across Africa and the Middle East.
While many of the side effects of the pandemic expected to linger for years, the continent’s manufacturing sector has the potential to grow into an industry powerhouse if they can up efficiency and boost productivity in order to harness new opportunities, transform economies, achieve sustained growth and create jobs.
But this won’t be easy. According to data recently released by Statistics South Africa manufacturing production in the country declined by 3.4% year-on-year in October. So, how can the African manufacturing industry make the most of this untapped potential?
We unpack a few suggestions below.
- For starters, African manufacturers need to make the most of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), which was implemented at in January 2021. AfCFTA promises opportunities for economic growth by helping to attract foreign direct investment, thus boosting industrialisation across Africa.
- African manufacturers must abandon and or adapt their legacy systems in favour of intelligent business management solutions, says Hartman. These tools enable companies to optimise manufacturing processes end-to-end. They provide insights into costs and operational performance, which allow manufacturers to make smarter and faster business decisions, in addition to enhancing efficiency, reducing costs and increasing sales and profitability.
- Cloud solutions can be rolled out quite quickly, they can easily be configured to meet your needs and adopted in a modular, incremental way. You don’t have to do everything at once. For African manufacturers, cloud makes it possible to evolve and take your digital journey at a pace that suits you.
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