Economic relations between Singapore and Africa are expanding rapidly. Bilateral trade in goods grew by around 15% per annum between 2019 and 2022, reaching US$14.5 billion in 2022. Singapore companies’ investments in Africa have also grown significantly, reaching US$23.7 billion in 2021.
This growth is being driven by a number of factors, including the African Continental Free Trade Area [AfCFTA], which is set to boost intra-African trade by 52%. Singapore companies are also keen to partner with African businesses in the digital economy, which is turbocharging growth on the continent.
At this year’s Africa Singapore Business Forum, five agreements were signed in the areas of manufacturing, digitalisation and technology, sustainable development, transport and logistics. The forum also featured keynote speeches by senior government officials from Singapore and Africa, as well as discussions on how businesses and governments can collaborate to take advantage of the opportunities in Africa.
“Singaporean companies are increasingly expanding their businesses to Africa, responding to Enterprise Singapore’s call to explore the continent. In 2023, Enterprise Singapore has organized over 10 activities to support Singaporean companies in Africa, including business missions, webinars, and workshops. These activities have benefited close to 400 companies, and the number of projects facilitated by Enterprise Singapore in Africa has exceeded that of 2022”, says Mr Tan Soon Kim, Deputy Chief Executive Officer [Global Markets], EnterpriseSG
The following are some examples of Singapore-Africa partnerships in the areas of manufacturing, digitalisation and sustainability:
Singapore company NivéSal is providing project advisory and execution services to support Ghanaian company SKY 40-40 in setting up manufacturing operations in Takoradi, Ghana to produce sustainable building material products.
Singapore firms Adatos and Tramés have signed an MOU with Singapore global commodity player Robust International to deploy their solutions in Africa. Adatos’ AI solutions provide Robust farmers with agricultural insights, while Tramés’ logistics management solutions help Robust optimise its supply chain planning.
Singapore-based food company WhatIF Foods has partnered Pond Foundation to trial and scale the production of biochar, a sustainable alternative to traditional fertilisers, in northern Ghana.
These partnerships are just a few examples of the growing economic ties between Singapore and Africa. As Africa continues to develop, we can expect to see even more collaboration between businesses and governments from the two regions.