Leveraging the Canary Islands proximity for doing business in Africa

Leveraging the Canary Islands proximity for doing business in Africa

Strategic location in the Mid Atlantic

Here is something you already knew: the Canary Islands are a fantastic location for any company looking to improve their staff’s way of life while enjoying irresistible benefits, like the lowest income tax in the EU. However, there is a lot more than that.

Here´s something you also knew but probably overlooked: the Canary Islands are very close to West Africa. That´s right, the archipelago holds a crucial strategic geographical location in the Atlantic ocean, located just a mere 3h flight away from both mainland Spain and the African continent.

If you own a consulting company, you would recommend the Canaries to your clients. The proximity to West Africa and the EU make them a place like no other for a service providing company looking to expand. We bet it already sounds irresistible and we have not even gone into detail about why.

Gateway to Africa

The Canaries are also a geo-strategic enclave that boasts excellent connectivity, with over 45 weekly direct flights to Africa and over 700 hundred weekly direct flights to the EU (under normal circumstances). Morocco, Senegal, Cape Verde and The Gambia are just a couple of hours by plane away, which allows you to operate in Africa, but from Europe.

The maritime connections are no different, since the Canary Islands present a wide network of commercial ports, fishing ports, and marinas (some of them leading Spain in passengers and freight traffic). Besides, the Canaries have also become an oilrigs and ship repair station in the Atlantic. If being this close and connected to the African continent wasn´t enough to convince you, you should have a look at the telecommunications infrastructure.

Globally connected

The submarine fiber-optic cable connections and over 50 satellites provide the Canaries with unparalleled connectivity. However, project D-ALIX takes the crown. This world-class data center serves as a tri-continental data exchange point bridging Europe, Africa, and America. I know, mind-blowing.

One of the first things you should consider, when looking into a new region as a hub towards a nearby market, is the local business knowledge and structure to help you get there. It is paramount that you get help that can get aid you to hit the ground running, saving you time and ultimately costs.

The Canary Islands provide the experience local companies have accumulated in their relationships with Africa over the years. They present a proven record not only in the African market, but also with foreign companies with trade or direct investment interests in Africa.

Take advantage of the digital revolution in Afrlca

At this point, you probably have a clear idea about how close to West Africa the Canaries are. You are probably also capable of explaining that the Canaries and the African continent are incredibly well connected. However, you may still be wondering what is there in Africa for you. Well, sit comfortably, because we are about to show you a sample of the many business opportunities available for you within the wide range of them that Africa has to offer. Let´s start with waste.

Currently, more than 80% of solid waste produced on the continent ends up in landfills or water bodies. In Ethiopia, the Repi Waste Recycling Factory is converting waste into electricity (supplying 3 million homes with it).

What about startup funding? In 2017 alone, African tech startups received 560 million dollars in funding from local and international investors. However, from the 100 billion dollars of venture capital that moves around every year, Africa only gets 1%. You should get involved, don´t you think?

Last example: Fintech. Africa´s underdeveloped financial services need fixing, which presents an enormous opportunity. In the area of overseas remittances, for instance, Africa loses more than 1.4 billion dollars every year, with Western Union and MoneyGram enjoying a longtime monopoly. Wouldn´t you like a piece of this cake?

We believe you should be fairly convinced by now, but just in case you are still a bit hesitant let me briefly summarize it. The Canaries are an excellent opportunity for any company wanting to expand into Africa (a whole continent full of untapped potential and opportunities for your company to grow and expand). Not only is the archipelago ridiculously close geographically, but the islands are also incredibly well connected in terms of flights, maritime lines, and telecommunications.

If this wasn´t enough, to ease your way into your African adventure you can benefit from decades of knowledge and expertise available to you via local companies well versed in the arts of the African markets. The icing on the cake?

Well, Africa is full of potential, from financial tech monopolies waiting to be disrupted to venture capitalists eager to get in on the next big idea. If you are a consulting company, you should pass this on to your clients. Remember, in the Canary Islands you can do business in Africa but from Europe.