Not only does the reputed publication JeuneAfrique compile an annual ranking of the 500 largest African companies (and its 200 largest Banks/ Financial Institutions), the online English-language version theafricareport.com provides the list of top 500 African firms for interested readers to glance over.
South African dominance continues
Traditionally, South Africa has led the surging African domestic economy. There was no exception in 2008 either. More than 200 companies from South Africa in the list of top 500 African firms shows the dominance of Africa’s industrial and economic leader. Out of the top 10 companies in 2008, seven were South African. It must be added that omission of Libyan and Nigerian oil companies allow South Africa to retain its “stranglehold” on the top 10. Maybe Sudanese companies could have entered the list if their reports were analyzed by JeuneAfrique/theAfricareport.com.
North Africa chips away at South Africa’s lead
Unmistakably, North African and Subsaharan African countries (excluding the leader South Africa) are chipping away at the huge lead enjoyed by South Africa. Libya’s secrecy also fails to unmask a number of huge firms from a booming “frontier” market with grand plans of over 500 billion Dinars in investments by 2020.
Lest one forgets, rapidly growing Sudan is another attractive destination for savvy investors. Sudan eyes becoming the owner and operator of the top 3 military-industrial complexes in all of Africa, behind Egypt and South Africa.
Its unmistakable surge forward can be witnessed in the completion of the remarkable Merowe Dam – Africa’s largest. Intended to become the hub of trade in East Africa, Mogran District deserves a mention. The likes of Giad Motors and Safat Aviation Complex have propelled Sudan to new heights. It is one of the first African countries to operate aviation MRO entreprises of its own and to manufacture or assemble helicopters and aeroplanes. That becomes all the more praiseworthy considering it has been sanctioned by western countries for far too long to be ignored.
Noticably no Sudanese companies apart from telecom firms made the list. Maybe lack of transparency is the cause. Also, the author admits to excluding Zimbabwe from the list for some inexplicable reason.
Some caution regarding “double-counting” is in order. Subsidiaries of parent entreprises are also included in the list just like foreign entreprises. The only factor taken into account is the annual turnover measured using market exchange rates and expressed in US$.