7 relationship Red flags you should never ignore!

7 relationship Red flags you should never ignore!

It is good to love with your heart but better to do same with your head. The fact that love has consumed your heart doesn’t mean one shouldn’t use their head. Love is a beautiful thing. However, when sowed in the wrong environment, it turns sour!

Divorces and bad marriages, like accidents, don’t just happen. There are warning signs. There are red flags. When others keep shoving these flags in our face, we shouldn’t take them for granted and assume such signs may just vanish during marriage. Time will not diminish these threats. It will instead make them more prominent.

Red flags are there for us to observe to advise ourselves. The essence of dating or courtship is to take note some of these red flags which are an indication of something worse to come.

A potential spouse who wants to play God in your life.

It is great to have someone who cares genuinely about you. It’s awesome to have a fiancé/fiancée who shows their support at every given time. However, the red flag is when their bossy self wants you to render to them a vivid account of every detail of your life daily. The red flag is when they slam it in your face that you were literally a “nobody” until they met you.

A life partner should be a friend not a god of a boss. They should not bully you around as though it’s a privilege to have them. Indeed, you should run for your life when he/she wants you to organize a thanksgiving session for them each day!

A spouse-to-be who incessantly compares you with their ex.

Many people today are like Lot’s wife. They keep looking back. They can’t let go of a past relationship even though they are in a new one. At the least opportunity, they’d refer one to how their ex would have done something better. Their ex’s name keeps roaming in all their conversations.

You see, when a man/woman is still attached to their past, it is almost likely they will leave you for them when the opportunity rears its head. When they’re still immersed in their past, you may never be enough for them because they have an ex of a yardstick they’re always comparing you with!

A man/woman you can’t trust.

Trust is the foundation of every relationship. Two people can never walk together until they’ve agreed to trust each other. Otherwise speaking, where there’s no trust, there’s barely a fruitful relationship because each spouse always suspects the other.

Absence of trust is the foremost red flag one should always look out for. When there’s no foundation of trust, no relationship can be built. When we don’t trust people, we’ll spend the rest of our lives fretting over needless matters. Depression will be our neighbor. Anxiety will be our friend. You’ve no business imagining a future with someone you can’t afford to trust!

A relationship where morals and values have taken a vacation.

When there are no standards in a relationship, anything walks in. When there are no common values, you both fall for everything. Many marriages are hitting the rocks lately because both couple didn’t have morals and values which were strictly adhered to before marriage even came into the picture.

If you’re in a relationship and you both, for instance, think it’s just okay to have threesomes, nothing will change even when you marry. Such a marriage will be riddled with cheating episodes where none trusts the other. How far your marriage will go depends on the morals and values you both held dearly to when dating!

A spouse-to-be who will choose wedding over marriage.

It’s amazing how many today will make so much fuss about a wedding when they’re not even prepared for marriage. I have met young women who are bent on settling down with a man who can give them their dream wedding… not dream marriage. I have met others who are so crazy about weddings but don’t give a hoot about what happens thereafter.

Pay attention to what your yet-to-be bride or groom is paying attention to; wedding or marriage. Life tests our maturity in so many ways and one of such is knowing whether a wedding is a need or only a want. Marriage is serious business. Wedding is only a little, insignificant department of that business!

When they are more interested in your charm than character.

Many things may attract people to us― our fame, wealth, personality, beauty among others. All these amount to our charm. However, one thing more important than our charm is our character. What we have is our charm. Who we are is our character.

When a man/woman gives you hints that they’re with you just because of what you have, it is a clear red flag. What we have is temporary. Who we are is permanent. If they are so much into you for your wealth sake, what happens when you lose it? What happens when an unfortunate incident takes away your beauty? True love is built on character not charm.

A potential spouse full of indecision.

How does one even dream of settling down with an unstable partner? How are you going to cope with a partner who shuttles between several choices of partners because they are not really certain about you? How do you even stand the sight of someone who doesn’t know whether it’s you or their ex they want?

One of the causes of cheating in marriages is indecision and this red flag pops up even during dating. If you’re doing everything possible for a man/woman to stay in a relationship they’re not committed to, know that you’re one of their many options. Sooner or later, they may leave you!

When people show you who they are, believe them. A red flag is a red flag. Don’t try to entertain it lest it gets bloody later on!

The writer is a playwright and Chief Scribe of Scribe Communications (www.scribecommltd.com), a writing company based in Accra. His play TRIBELESS is on Saturday, June 16th, 2018 at National Theatre.

#GhanaStyle : How to prepare Light soup

#GhanaStyle : How to prepare Light soup

Light soup is a popular soup in Ghana and other West African countries. It is  simple and easy to prepare,its usually served with fufu or rice.

Ingredients

  • Fresh meat/chicken
  • onion
  • Tomatoes
  • Pepper
  • Garden eggs
  • Chicken seasoning
  • Salt

Method

  1. Cut the meat/chicken in desirable sizes and wash it well
  2. Put the chicken or meat in a saucepan
  3. Blend the onion, ginger and garlic
  4. Add the blended onion, ginger and garlic
  5. Add your seasoning, salt and little water and steam for 6 to 12minutes
  6. Boil the tomatoes, pepper and garden eggs(make sure it is soft)
  7. Blend the tomatoes, pepper and garden eggs when they are well cooked
  8. Add the mixture to the chicken/meat in the saucepan add more water if it is thick(its should be very light, not thick)
  9. Allow to the soup to cook for 20-30 minutes
  10. Serve with rice, banku or fufu.

credit: jest-kitchen.com

Lifestyle: Ten good reasons to take a break from dating

Lifestyle: Ten good reasons to take a break from dating

Exhausted with the dating scene and wanna take a time out? Perhaps you’re not so sure you should, just in case you end up on the shelf and everyone gets taken in the meantime. If you’re in two minds, join Beauty and Tips as we take a look at 10 good reasons to take a break from dating.

Dating can be hard – but fun

However, it’s only fun when you go on one or two great dates before meeting someone cool who you enter into a relationship with. When you become a serial dater who’s venturing out on at least one disastrous date per month, on the other hand, dating is no longer fun. It’s exhausting, tedious and kinda weird.

It gets worse when you’re the one who’s rejected, too. The emotional roller coaster of the whole thing should be enough to put us off dating for life, but the question we always return to is this: If we quit dating, wouldn’t we be single forever? You don’t have to quit dating forever.

But if you’re tired of futile dates in the freezing cold, encounters with crazy guys and having to change your number because some creeps won’t get the picture that you don’t like them, you can always just take a break. Why should you? Here are 10 good reasons to take a break from dating.

Rediscover who you are

Dating can drawn you in to a sort-of parallel universe where you’re you – but also someone else. You’re meeting up with all different kinds of guys from different walks of life, and a lot of the time you have to adjust your own personality a little. You know how it is: You’re on a date with a cute guy who happens to be obsessed with Star Trek. You’ve never seen it, but to impress you tell him you love it, too. And when he asks for your favourite episode, you tell him you can’t choose just one. You love them all! When you free yourself from the dating scene, you also free yourself from discussing who other people are. You get a chance to rediscover your own passions and hobbies. You’ve got more time to dedicate yourself to do doing what you really love to do.

Because being single is fun

Hey, you’re single and guess what – lots of people are secretly jealous! Being single is better than dating losers. You get to do whatever you want, whenever you want. Have a blast!

You stop looking

They say that love comes when we’re not even looking for it. A lot of people will surely agree with this. If you’ve been spending the best part of the last year trying to force love out of a bunch of strangers online, it might be a good idea to take yourself out of the firing line and let nature and destiny take over. Give yourself up to the gods. You might experience a lovely surprise when you least expect it.

You can focus on making friends instead

Tired of meeting people for love and it all going wrong? Why not ease the pressure and widen your social circle instead? Meeting new people for friendship is a lot easier than the pressure cooker environment of the dating scene. You get to relax a bit more, take it easy, and don’t have to worry about why he isn’t texting back. It’s so much more fun! Join an app like Bumble and find new friends to hang out with.

You reaffirm your self image

It’s 1am. You went to bed an hour ago. You can’t sleep. You keep thinking about him and why he hasn’t texted since 8pm. You deliberately left your phone in another room so you wouldn’t check your phone in bed. After all, you need sleep. Screw that! You leap out of bed into the freezing cold, stub your toe on something and check your phone. He hasn’t texted and now you feel silly, cold and your toe is throbbing. Worse still, you ask yourself “what have I become?!” When we’re dating too much, we can lose sight of our self image. We check our phone every five minutes and literally can’t cope if our date hasn’t replied. It’s not cool, we hate ourselves for doing it, and it’s not how we normally behave. Take a break from dating and reaffirm your self image. You don’t need to be the one who is still awake at 1am waiting for a text. You’re better than that and deserve better than that.

You’re not ready to date

If you need a break from dating, it might mean that you’ve not been ready for a relationship this whole time. Take a breather and only return to the dating scene when you’re truly ready to meet a new man.

Use the time to analyse past mistakes

One of the reasons you’ve been bouncing from bad date to bad date could be that you haven’t given yourself enough time between each guy to reflect on what went wrong. It’s important that you analyse past relationships so that you can learn from mistakes, ensuring they don’t happen again. Take a look at your past and see if there are things you can improve on.

A break will save you some time

Dating can take a lot of your time, but when you are single you can use all this time for spending quality moments withy your family and friends, or on self development or taking a new and fun hobby, it is an excellent reason to take a break from dating, at least for some time.

You can reevaluate what you want from a guy

We can spend so much time shopping around online for dates that we forget what we even want in a guy. Taking some time out from the dating scene gives you an excellent opportunity to reevaluate what it is you want from a guy. Spend some time writing down qualities you want in a man so that when he does eventually come along, you know he’s the one for you.

Learn a new skill

As you know, dating can take up a lot of time. If you aren’t on dates, you’re texting new guys. If you aren’t texting them, you’re calling them. If you aren’t doing that, you’re browsing lots of profiles. Dating takes up so much time that we never have the time to do anything else. Take a break from dating and focus on learning a new skill. It’s so much more productive.

Source: Beauty and Tips

5 Reasons why farting is good for you

5 Reasons why farting is good for you

Gases build up in the colon as the result of undigested food. A healthy person farts an average of 20 times a day.

Gas production can increase due to poor digestion of certain foods, food sensitivity or intolerance (e.g., celiac disease, lactose intolerance), bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine, or the presence of some forms of bacteria in the digestive system that produce more gas than others.

Why It’s Good To Fart

No, you won’t explode if you don’t release pent-up gas but here are some valid reasons that you’re better off letting it fly.

1. Relieves Bloating

We all know what abdominal bloating feels like; it’s quite uncomfortable, making you feel like an over-inflated tire. Bloating can be caused by illness but is much more likely from something you ate.

Legumes like beans and lentils are musical fruits, indeed. Grains like wheat, rye, and barley can also make your digestive system work overtime, trapping gas and making you feel bloated and overly full. There’s no other real remedy for bloating than release through a good fart.

Increased discomfort occurs when you can’t get the gas out—try the wind relieving yoga pose to help your intestines to push it out.

2. Indicates Digestive Health

Gut bacteria are essential for health. When they become imbalanced or there aren’t enough of the good kind, food isn’t broken down properly or efficiently. By the time waste gets to your colon, it’s not been as thoroughly processed as it should be.

Beneficial bacteria in your body (and there are 100 trillion of them) break down food, help to eliminate metabolic waste, monitor and destroy harmful bacteria, and perform a host of other necessary activities. Having an ample supply is crucial for overall health; there is growing evidence that imbalance of gut bacteria can even affect the brain, leading to anxiety and depression.

If you fart around the average amount, it’s an indication that the micro-organisms in your lower digestive tract are working properly.

3. Flatulence and Diet

Farting can give you an idea on whether or not your diet suits your body.

If you don’t fart much, it may mean your gut bacteria aren’t getting necessary nourishment. They feed on complex carbohydrates. Eat more legumes (beans, lentils), whole grains, cruciferous vegetables (brussels sprouts, cabbage, bok choy, broccoli, cauliflower, etc.), and onions. That should do the trick.

Women tend to begin to toot more at or around menopause due to hormone changes. Add probiotics to your diet for balance. Fermented foods are the best source of probiotics: kefir, sauerkraut, kombucha, miso, and yogurt are prime examples.

Dark chocolate (cocoa content 70% minimum), apple cider vinegar, and ginger are also great supporters of the digestive system and are “prebiotics”: food for the probiotics.

4. S/he Who Smelt it Dealt it

How your farts smell says a lot about what’s going on inside your body. The air that exits your rectum is comprised of several different gases, none of which have an especially horrendous aroma.

If you find that your farts start to stink on a regular basis, it could be a sign of a food sensitivity/allergy (e.g., lactose or gluten) or an infection in the digestive tract. Or something as simple as eating too much garlic or meat.

Make incremental adjustments to your diet and pay attention to how the smell of your farts change.

5. Inhaling Farts is Good for You

Sounds paradoxical but one of the gaseous compounds abundant in your fragrant posterior expulsions is hydrogen sulfide. The sulfur part is what causes the rotten egg smell.

Research has found that sulfide gas in small doses may prevent cell damage. This may have applications in the prevention and treatment of arthritis, heart disease, and stroke.

 
source: zen-magazine.com
7 reasons why Ghana is the place to be.

7 reasons why Ghana is the place to be.

Ghana, the acclaimed gateway to Africa, is my beloved motherland. I am proud to be a native Ghanaian. “I am not Ghanaian because I was born in Ghana, but because Ghana was born in me” – drawing inspiration from a famous quote by Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, our pre-eminent founding father. For if I had the chance to be reincarnated after my death, I would still want to be a Ghanaian.

I recently read online that some 38 foreign nationals, including Americans, British, Spanish etc. have naturalised as Ghanaians. This evidences my profound assertion that Ghana is probably the best place to be in the world.

Paradoxically, many Ghanaian folks migrate to Western countries in dire need of wealth while Ghana remains the country of limitless opportunities. Yes, our nation may have its shortcomings yet it is arguably the best place to be on planet earth. Here are the 7 salient reasons to validate my remarkable pronouncement:

(1) Hospitability is our prime hallmark.

You have obviously heard that, “Ghanaians are hospitable.” Ghanaians are hospitable, at least towards foreigners. We are mostly friendly and welcoming to visitors or guests because that is a part of our cultural make-up. In fact, we are warm-hearted, neighbourly, accommodating and open-handed. Any average foreigner can attest to this attitude of ours.

(2) Ghanaians are rarely satirical.

The Ghanaian citizenry possess an atypical sense of satire in everyday life. Satire is in our blood and we sometimes play it carefully. We literally mock our wayward politicians on a daily basis, with the aim of demonising them and exposing their evil deeds.

On social media especially, we often resort to biting satire of our unjust, wicked and corrupt system. And virtually no guilty person or institution can escape our sociopolitical satire. For satire enlightens the masses in unusual ways.

(3) Ghana is the land of real peace.

Okay, Ghana is the most peaceful country in Africa and beyond. Ghanaians abhor mass bloodshed. Look! Religion may have separated us, ethnicity may have  disconnected us, politics may have divided us, and wealth may have classified us; however, we still coexist with one another in peace and togetherness.

(4) We have a stable democracy.

Thank God Ghana has never experienced any civil war unlike most African countries. Though we have had several military interventions in the past after our independence; we now enjoy a stable democracy, where the people are sovereign under the rule of law in a free and open society with constitutionally guaranteed rights and freedoms.

(5) Economic opportunities abound in our economy.

Ghana may be the small West African country with insignificant presence in the world economy. Yet economic opportunities in various sectors of our resilient economy really abound. Why migrate to the Western world to seek greener pastures when you can make much money here like Sarkodie, Bola Ray, Despite, Nduom, and the like?

People may claim that the Ghanaian economy is in the doldrums due to acutely unfavourable economic conditions. But with priceless passion, efficiency, hard work, smartness and innovation; one can make a rare fortune in the course of time. Need I say more?

(6) Ghana is a modern secular society.

Should I say religious and cultural pluralism exist in Ghana? Well, Christianity, Islam, idolatry and the others are all guaranteed by Ghana’s 1992 Constitution. In Ghana, everyone can practise his faith without fear since Ghana is neither a Christian country nor an Islamic nation. We are a modern secular society or a pluralist state.

(7) We have a prestigious cultural heritage.

Ghana boasts of a variety of prestigious cultures. The Ashanti Kingdom in particular, has gained worldwide recognition for its lasting, dynamic and especial nature. Indeed, a chunk of the Ghanaian people are true bearers of high Ghanaian culture which is inseparable from our national spirit.

God bless mother Ghana…

Source: sirarticle 

11 Business Opportunities in Africa That Could Make More Millionaires in 2018

11 Business Opportunities in Africa That Could Make More Millionaires in 2018

The term “millionaire” is taking on a new meaning in Africa.

It’s no longer just about the size of your bank account; any shady politician, corrupt bureaucrat, or unscrupulous businessman on the continent can easily claim to be a millionaire.

But Africa’s new and emerging generation of millionaires are not just excited about money. They’re also passionate about impact; they want to create value that touches and improves people’s lives.

It’s called impact entrepreneurship. It’s the new way of making money and doing good, at the same time.

It’s a model that is proving that profit and ambition do not always have to come at another’s expense.

Remember, the bulk of Africa’s “old school” millionaires made their money from resource extraction and sheer opportunism. Often, their wealth had to come at the expense of the common good and the natural environment.

But Africa’s new wave of entrepreneurs is showing no keen interest in the continent’s finite resources; its timber, gold, copper, oil and diamonds. Rather, they’re far more interested in a much more valuable resource: problems.

Africa is a continent overwhelmed by serious problems, from unemployment and illiteracy, to hunger and inadequate electricity.

As you’re about to find out in this article, this new generation of millionaires is focusing on the continent’s problems because solving these problems will unlock massive streams of wealth, jobs and prosperity for the continent.

Most of these problems are tough, widespread and decades old. But while they are scary and frustrating to most people, entrepreneurs see them for the breathtaking opportunities they really are.

This article profiles 11 of the most promising business opportunities in Africa that will make more millionaires in 2018.

Let’s meet them…

1) Crowdfarming

Photo credit: Quartz Africa

Across the world, agriculture is big business and most farmers are financially well-off. But not yet in Africa.

According to the United Nations, Africa’s agribusiness industry is expected to be worth $1 trillion by 2030.

And it makes perfect sense. The continent has a huge domestic market, owns 60 percent of the world’s unused arable land, and has abundant labour resources, and a favourable climate in most parts.

Still, Africa spends over $30 billion on food imports annually.

A big part of the problem is, most of Africa’s food is still produced by smallholder farmers in rural areas. They are largely poor people who use crude farming methods, and have very limited access to capital.

But what if all of us in the cities pool funds together, invest in these rural farmers, and take a share of the profits at harvest time?

Wouldn’t that significantly boost food production, cut down the continent’s food import bill, and make more money for both the investors and the farmers?

This business model is called “crowdfarming”, and it’s a trend that could totally transform the face of agribusiness in Africa.

In Nigeria, two crowdfarming platforms — FarmCrowdy and ThriveAgric — enable working-class Nigerians to crowd-sponsor farming projects and earn a share in the returns at harvest time. Last year, FarmCrowdy raised $1 million from US investors to expand its operations.

In Somalia, Ari.Farm is an online marketplace and crowdfarming platform that enables investors from across the world to play in the Somali livestock market.

In South Africa, Livestock Wealth, helps investors to own pregnant cows, and track them through a mobile app. Once the calf reaches seven months, it is sold to a feedlot or slaughterhouse and the return for the beef goes to the investors.

As Africa’s population doubles over the next 30 years, the business opportunities in Africa ‘s agribusiness space are very likely to produce a league of millionaires who made their money while pulling thousands of farmers out of poverty.

2) Waste

Photo credit: Earth Hour

For decades, waste has been a huge and nagging problem in Africa’s urban areas.

Currently, most of the waste generated in Africa is either burned, buried or thrown away. As a result, more than 80 percent of solid waste produced on the continent ends up in landfills or gets dumped in water bodies.

And as the continent’s population continues to rise, the waste problem will only get worse.

So, what do we do with all the growing heaps of filthy waste before we find ourselves in the middle of the worst environmental crisis the world has ever known?

In South Africa, the solution appears to be to convert waste into animal feed.

AgriProtein is a business that grows maggots from waste collected from markets, households and businesses. The maggots are processed into a highly nutritious protein supplement that substitutes fish meal in animal feed. The company has raised up to $30 million in funding, making it one of the best-funded insect farming businesses to date.

In Ethiopia, the solution is to convert waste into electricity.

The Repi waste recycling factory in Addis Ababa will produce 50 megawatts of electricity from waste collected from across the city. The facility is expected to supply 3 million homes with electricity, and avoid the release of millions of tons of CO2 to the atmosphere.

Across the continent, entrepreneurs are hard at work trying to squeeze out value from waste, and in the process, they’re creating an industry that could provide both low and high-level jobs for thousands of people.

From the trend of waste recycling and transformation initiatives I’ve observed, there’s only one place this is heading to.

I predict that over the next decade, waste will become a valuable commodity that households and businesses can sell for money. And the waste is likely to return to the food chain, to the electricity grid, or in some other recycled form.

3) Drones

Photo credit: Aerobotics

In Africa, it appears there’s much more to drones than chasing terrorists and taking breathtaking altitude photographs.

Drones are finding some of their most versatile and impactful roles in Africa and are helping with everything from logistics and farmland management, to humanitarian deliveries and conservation support.

In Rwanda, Zipline is a drone delivery startup that delivers blood and medical supplies to clinics in the country. After successful pilot operations, it is now expanding into neighbouring Tanzania.

Aerobotics is a South African business that uses its drones to provide bird’s eye surveillance for farmers that provides critical information that can boost crop yields by up to 10 percent. It now operates in 11 countries, including the US, Russia and the UK.

In other parts of the continent, drones are playing more roles in humanitarian efforts to deliver aid to remote and conflict-ridden areas. They are also being used to monitor deforestation and illegal mining activities as part of efforts to conserve the continent’s forests and wildlife.

As you know the drone industry is relatively new and still emerging. At this rate, there is still a wide range of possibilities for drone technology in Africa.

And those entrepreneurs who can adapt drones to solving serious problems on the continent will open new and uncharted territory that could unlock wealth, jobs and more business opportunities in Africa.

4) Affordable housing

Photo credit: Home Times

Africa is experiencing the world’s highest rate of rural-to-urban migration. And by 2030, it is projected that up to 50 percent of the continent’s population could be living in towns and cities.

Urbanisation is great, but where will all these people live? And even if the governments tried, they cannot build homes fast enough to meet the teeming demand for accommodation.

In Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, the housing deficit is estimated at 20 million homes. In South Africa, the deficit stands at 2.3 million homes.

Africa’s housing crisis opens a lot of interesting opportunities for several industries; from cement production and furniture making, to building contractors and mortgages.

It’s no surprise Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, has expanded his presence in cement production across several countries on the continent. His interests in cement now make up a significant portion of his net worth.

But beyond conventional housing, there is an interesting trend of homes being built from cheap and durable alternatives, like shipping containers.

In Cape Town (South Africa), building contractors like Berman-Kalil are offering sustainable and affordable housing options by converting decommissioned shipping containers into low-cost homes.

In Kenya, entrepreneurs like Denise Majani are also converting shipping containers into amazingly creative residential and office accommodation at half the price of contemporary housing.

These alternative options are significantly cutting down the cost of building homes, making them affordable to a larger segment of the population.

So far, most of Africa’s housing developments have focused on the premium and elite segment of the market. While the large margins from this segment have been very lucrative for investors, the biggest opportunities will emerge from providing housing at scale, and at affordable prices.

5) Automobiles

The Mobius II (Photo credit: Mobius Motors)

As more Africans migrate to the cities, the big urbanization wave has caused a surge in demand for transportation services.

Currently, there are just about 44 vehicles per 1,000 people in Africa. This is significantly below the global average of 180, and lower than the motorization rates of other developing regions like Latin America, Oceania and the Middle East.

Estimates suggest that vehicle sales on the continent could reach 10 million units per annum within the next 15 years.

It’s no surprise the big name automobile brands like Toyota, Volkswagen and Mercedes are already digging into the African market by setting up assembly plants on the continent.

But what is more interesting is the emergence of “Made in Africa” automobiles.

The Mobius II is a luxury SUV built in Kenya and is set to hit the market in 2018. It is being advertised as “an affordable, no thrills, but robust and classy SUV that’s built for African roads.”

In Nigeria, Innoson Motors — a homegrown car maker – has released a range of private cars.

And in Uganda, Kiira Motors is developing Africa’s first hybrid cars. It has already launched Africa’s first solar-powered bus.

There are also promising indigenous automobile makers in Ghana, Tunisia and Sudan.

Currently, just about 50 percent of Africa’s roads are paved. As the continent’s development drive continues, this percentage will rise and so will the demand for automobiles and transportation services.

This rise in demand will create several interesting business opportunities in Africa and open supporting industries including dealerships, spare parts, auto-service shops, auto financing, and even ridesharing services.

6) Local products for export

Nilotica shea nuts. Photo credit: LXMI

Africa spends billions of dollars on imports every year. This includes both food and non-food items.

But beyond the traditional commodities – crude oil, minerals, cocoa, coffee, timber etc. — what else of value can Africa actually export?

It happens there are a lot of local products on the continent that have the potential to become global brands. The problem is, we often overlook or look down on them.

But a few interesting entrepreneurs are now turning local African products into global brands and best-sellers.

Take Nilotica for example, a rare type of Shea butter that is used in luxury beauty products sold around the world. The trees that produce this butter only grow at the source of the Nile River; in Northern Uganda, South Sudan and Ethiopia.

By working with local women in the region to process the butter, Leila Janah – an American entrepreneur — has built LXMI, a luxury beauty brand with a range of skincare products that sell in over 300 beauty stores across the world.

Another example is fonio, a forgotten cereal that has been grown in Africa for more than 5,000 years.

Largely regarded as a “miracle” grain, fonio is gluten-free and rich in several nutrients that are deficient in most other major grains, such as rice, wheat and barley.

By processing fonio into products like crackers, cereals and pasta, one Senegalese entrepreneur and ex-chef — Pierre Thiam – has put this ancient food on shelves in New York, with plans to roll out to other stores across the USA.

Nilotica and fonio are only just two examples of several local African products that have global potential. And in 2018, more smart entrepreneurs will carve niches for themselves by exploring these products and transforming them into international brands.

Will you be one of them?

7) Startup funding

Photo credit: Quartz Africa

The buzz of entrepreneurship activity on the African continent has caught the attention of a growing number of investors, both within and outside the continent.

The potential returns on investment in Africa is currently one of the highest in the world, and has become too obvious for investors to ignore.

Since 2012, the amount of seed funding and venture capital flowing to Africa has grown 1,400 percent. And the trend continues to look up.

In 2017 alone, African tech startups received $560 million in funding from local and international investors. This amount represents a 53 percent jump from the $366 million raised one year earlier, in 2016.

And the biggest deal of the year was a $69 million investment in TakeALot, a South African e-Commerce startup.

Also, Silicon Valley accelerators such as 500 Startups and Y Combinator have increased the number of African startups that are admitted into, and receive funding, through their programmes.

Currently, South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria are in the spotlight and take the lion share (about 75 percent) of the investment inflows.

It’s important to note that every year, the size of venture capital investments that take place around the world exceeds $100 billion. Currently, Africa gets less than 1 percent of this global deal flow.

It’s still very early days in Africa’s startup funding space, and 2018 will certainly attract more investors looking to explore emerging business opportunities in Africa, and take their positions in lucrative deals.

8) Fintech

Photo credit: Mail & Guardian

Africa’s underdeveloped financial services industry presents very tough, important and widespread problems that need to be solved.

After more than 50 years of banking on the continent, just about 34 percent of adults in sub-Saharan Africa have bank accounts or access to formal financial services.

It is clear the traditional model of banking is too slow, inflexible and incapable of spreading financial access at the pace the continent requires.

But with the spread of mobile phones and the Internet across Africa, the continent’s entrepreneurs are leveraging technology to deepen financial access in ways the banks never have.

Last year, Flutterwave, a Nigerian fintech startup, raised $10 million in funding from a group of investors led by Greyloft, a US-based venture capital firm.

To date, it’s one of the highest Series A round investment in an African startup.

And there are a wide range of opportunities that are opening up in Africa’s financial services space.

They include bill payments, bulk disbursement, international remittances, merchant payments, mobile airtime top up, mobile banking, person-to-person transfers, peer-to-peer lending, micro insurance, and several other interesting opportunities.

In the area of overseas remittances for example, Africa loses more than $1.4 billion annually in charges alone. Western Union and MoneyGram have been longtime monopolies in the remittances segment, and are clearly ripe for disruption.

Opening up, growing and disrupting Africa’s financial services market will certainly transform millions of lives on the continent and create a league of millionaires in the process.

Fintech will surely remain one of the top business opportunities in Africa to watch in 2018.

9) Low-cost private schools

Photo credit: Montage Africa Magazine

According to this report titled: “The Business of Education in Africa”, it is estimated that 1 in 4 African students – a total of 66 million – will be enrolled in private schools by the year 2021.

Rapid population growth, poor funding, corruption and neglect have caused a serious deterioration in the quality of education in public schools on the continent.

As a result, more African parents are looking to private schools to ensure their kids get a good education. And the demand for this alternative is skyrocketing.

For example, in Nigeria, the number of low-cost private schools in Lagos, its commercial capital, is estimated to be as high as 18,000. By comparison, in 2010-11 the city had just 1,600 government schools.

And this trend of low-cost private education is leading entrepreneurs to come up with several interesting models.

In Tanzania, the Silverleaf Academy is a chain of low-cost private primary schools that charge a daily school fee of $1.50. The school uses a technology-based approach and offers a curriculum taught by internally-trained teachers.

In Nigeria, the Lekki Peninsula Affordable Schools is a stand-alone low-cost school that charges an average annual fee of $125. The school has received up to $75,000 in funding from Village Capital and Pearson Affordable Learning.

As more players enter the low-cost private education space on the continent, I suspect the fierce competition will improve the quality of education, drive down school fees, and afford many children the chance of a decent education.

Rather than set up exclusive private schools for the elite, who says entrepreneurs can’t make good returns and find tons of fulfillment in educating children en masse?

10) Urban logistics

Photo credit: Edge Magazine

The future of Africa is in the cities. And by 2030, up to half of the continent’s 1.4 billion people will be located in the cities.

Currently, about 60 African cities have a population of over 1 million people. At the top of the pack are cities like Lagos (21 million), Kinshasa (10 million), and Cairo (9.5 million).

And one of the biggest problems that appears to be worsening with the growth of Africa’s urban populations is congestion. Most cities on the continent do not yet have well-diversified transport systems, so getting around town can be a very frustrating endeavour.

It’s a logistical nightmare that worries both consumers and businesses.

Thankfully, some African entrepreneurs are already hacking this problem.

In Kenya, Twiga Foods uses technology to pool the orders of several urban retailers, saving them a trip to the market by delivering to their doorstep. It is now the largest distributor of a number of basic food staples in Kenya, and the startup raised $10.3 million last year.

In Nigeria, MAX is a fast-growing startup that provides last-mile delivery services. Last year, it launched an on-demand motorcycle courier service for clients who have critical deliveries that need to beat the notorious congestion on Lagos roads.

As we go into the future, more entrepreneurs will figure out ways to outsmart the complex problems and frustrating challenges of logistics in urban areas.

In 2018, urban logistics will likely remain one of the most promising emerging business opportunities in Africa.

11) Healthcare services

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With poorly-funded public hospitals, and a significant brain drain of African doctors to countries outside the continent, waiting for the government to fix the continent’s healthcare sector will not work.

Also, waiting for international “donor” funds (which are channeled through governments) will not work too. We have been doing the same thing for decades and very little has changed.

With 25 percent of the global disease burden, a rapidly growing population, and a rising middle class, Africa’s healthcare market presents a huge opportunity.

According to the IFC, Africa’s $21 billion healthcare market could double in size in just 10 years.

Currently, a growing number of Africans are seeking medical help outside the continent, in places like India, the Middle East and Europe. This growth in outbound medical tourism costs Africans millions of dollars every year.

To arrest this ugly situation before it gets much worse, Africa needs a private-sector led transformation of its healthcare industry that requires both the innovation of local entrepreneurs and investment from local and international investors.

Gladly, this transformation is already happening.

In East Africa, a growing number of Indian hospital groups, like Narayana and Gurgaon, are setting up hospital facilities to tap into the continent’s healthcare market.

In Kenya, Dr. Maxwell Okoth, a young medical doctor and entrepreneur, started a chain of low-cost hospitals with only $3,000. He is now setting up a 100-bed multi-specialty hospital which will have a cancer center, radiology center, pediatric unit, and several other specialties.

In Nigeria, Lifebank – a startup that develops smart ways to deliver critical blood supplies to hospitals in busy cities – raised $0.2 million to support and expand its operations.

Across the continent, more entrepreneurs are exploring creative alternatives to solving Africa’s significant healthcare problems.

There is no doubt their efforts will not only transform the continent’s healthcare industry, but will unlock millions of job opportunities in the process.

2018 will continue the reign of business opportunities in Africa

Millionaires in Africa should no longer be determined and celebrated by the size of their bank accounts, but by the size and scale of the problems they’re solving on the continent.

Africa is a continent that significantly rewards problem-solvers, and provides a rare opportunity in today’s world to make a lot of money, while doing a lot of good at the same time.

It is now abundantly clear that entrepreneurship holds the keys to Africa’s transformation; not global pity, and certainly not foreign aid.

The winners in 2018 will be those entrepreneurs and investors who apply their creativity and determination to solving serious problems on the continent.

If you found this article useful, please forward it via social media or email to the smart people you know.

Africa is on the move and needs as many forward-thinkers who can see the continent’s challenges for the amazing opportunities they really are.

Let’s go, Africa!

Author:  John-Paul Iwuoha – Author, Business Strategist & Champion for Entrepreneurship in Africa