Farafenni identified as one of Africa’s ‘Boom Towns’

Friday, April 17, 2015
The town of Farafenni in the North Bank Region of the Gambia has been identified by DHL as one of Africa’s ‘boom towns’ and cities that are enjoying growth on the back of growing industries and providing opportunities for African businesses.

In a statement issued in Cape Town, South Africa, on Thursday, DHL Express Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) described Farafenni as being situated on the north bank of the Gambia River, about 120 kilometres inland from the capital Banjul.

It said the town is home to numerous banks and insurance firms and that it is experiencing fast growth mainly due to its geographical location on the main road between Dakar and Casamance (the southern area of Senegal), and its close proximity to the ferry crossing on the Gambia River.

Commenting on Africa’s economic prospects, the Managing Director of DHL Express Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), Charles Brewer, said despite the recent prediction by the World Bank that economic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa will slow in 2015; the region is still home to one of the fastest-growing middle class in the world.

As a result, he said there are vast opportunities on the continent for progressive African entrepreneurs and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to take advantage of.

He said one sector providing plentiful prospects is the agricultural industry, which is Africa’s largest economic sector representing 15% of the continent’s total GDP and more than $100 billion per year.

“It is estimated that more than 60% of the globe’s available and vacant land is situated in Sub-Saharan Africa, which suggests that the sector still offers incredible growth.”

Brewer said another industry seeing significant growth is the banking sector, which he said has grown extensively over the last decade and has become a substantial player in emerging-market banking.

He said the rising middle class and ‘unbanked’ African consumers should continue to drive the industry.

“Other industries experiencing growth and offering prospects on the continent include technology, consumer goods and telecommunications,” he said.

The other African towns/cities listed by Brewer as ‘Boom Towns’ include Bobo-Dioulasso in Burkina Faso, Ebène in Mauritius, Mbarara in Ugandaand Konza Techno City in Kenya.

“DHL is present in every African country and territory, with 37 years of express logistics experience on the continent. With our extensive footprint in Africa, we are uniquely positioned to service these ‘boom towns’ and burgeoning industries,” concludes Brewer.

Author: A special correspondent