Writing is the foundation of all learning and has remained one of man’s oldest but most essential learning aids. To remember what we have been taught, we must write. Little wonder a significant chunk of human knowledge is stored in written text, and not in our brains. As a result, paper exercise books, writing pads, text books, pencils and ball pens are just a few of the most basic and invaluable tools used in the business of education. Both students and teachers have a natural need to take notes. Without these tools, it would be difficult, if not impossible to impart any education.
Every year, parents, teachers, students, schools, NGOs and governments across Africa spend millions of dollars on stationery supplies that are used across primary, secondary and tertiary schools on the continent. The demand for stationery (especially paper exercise books, text books and pens) is currently many times higher than local supply in many African countries. As a result, over 60 percent of Africa’s stationery needs are met by imports from China, India and Europe.
The opportunities in Africa’s stationery market include local publishing and manufacture of stationery items and imports from low production cost companies, especially in Asia.
We believe that the real profit for you lies in manufacturing stationary material locally. You could pioneer in promoting the recycling of paper, collect it, and make some of your stationery out of recycled material if this is cost-effective for you.
Other Related Ideas
- Green stationery, such as books made from recycled papers would be a good attraction.
- Produce stationery with an African theme, design and style that stands out from the Western-styled products on the market.
This would work in any African country where you find a vibrant or far-stretching educational system, as long as you do not have any major competitors lined up locally when starting your business. Countries such as North Sudan or Congo, for example, which are less popular business targets, may prove to be great destinations for this kind of business.