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Building & Construction business ideas for 2024: Africa's top opportunities

Massive housing shortages and infrastructure deficits have created a multi-billion-dollar annual demand for building materials and construction services in Africa. This guide explores the 15 most lucrative opportunities.

Africa is one of the world's hottest markets for building and construction projects. Photo by Josue Isai

There are a lot of building and construction opportunities opening up across Africa.

Unlike developed continents that already have expansive built-up cities and urban areas, the big gaps in Africa’s infrastructure and real estate sectors will create the world’s biggest demand for building and construction materials over the next 30 years.

This demand will particularly benefit local producers, importers, and suppliers who can meet the needs of this fast-growing market.

In the last decade, the total value of major infrastructure and capital projects across Africa that have a minimum value of $50 million roughly doubled from $300 billion (in 2013) to $520 billion (in 2021), according to Deloitte.

Despite the continent's ongoing construction boom, the Africa Development Bank (AfDB) estimates there is still significant room for growth.

According to the AfDB, Africa needs up to $170 billion annually in new construction projects to close its massive infrastructure deficit.

In addition to infrastructure and capital projects, there is a significant opportunity in residential, commercial, and industrial real estate projects.

Currently, many African countries are in the middle of a critical housing crisis with at least 17 countries having housing deficits of more than 1 million homes.

Nigeria, the continent's most populated country, has the highest deficit (17 million homes), followed by South Africa (2.5 million), and Kenya (2 million), among others.

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