Security is a recurring threat across the world, more so in regions where there exists high poverty and a wide gap between the rich and poor. In Africa, the rapid growth of urban areas has come with its own challenges. Common theft, armed robbery and kidnapping are just a few of the security issues that threaten lives and property across the continent.
Although security is usually the responsibility of government, their efforts are often not enough to tackle the growing threats. As a result, more Africans are personally investing in their own security to protect their lives and property. Here are a few business ideas and opportunities that are flourishing with the growing demand for security:
1) Private security company
There aren’t enough policemen to guard every piece of private property in the cities. This has opened a huge opportunity for small private firms that provide security guards to houses, corporate offices, banks, schools, hotels and events. These units work with government agencies; in the areas of training, security, intelligence sharing, etc.
According to a private security guard report by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), in 2018, private security companies operating in Nigeria employed a total of 828,502 Nigerians
Naijaroko analysis from the NBS report shows that both the number of private security guards employed and the number of private security companies created has been on an increase since 2013.
The number increased by 43.3 percent to 828,502 people in 2018 from 578,056 in 2013. Additionally, the number of private guard companies also rose by 38.4 percent within the same periods mentioned above.
Divine Ndhlukula is one of several entrepreneurs who have successfully taken advantage of the growing demand for private security in Africa. She started Securico a small private security outfit, from her small house in Harare (Zimbabwe) with only five employees. Worse still, she had little capital and no experience in the security business; but she was determined to take on the big and established security companies who had become a cartel in a largely male-dominated industry.
Today, her $13 million business employs more than 3,000 employees and has become Zimbabwe’s most successful private security outfit.
2) Anti-theft and surveillance devices
GPS enabled vehicle tracking solutions, security cameras and intrusion alarm systems for homes and offices are just a few of the popular devices that are increasingly in demand in Africa’s big cities. For example, the high frequency of vehicle theft in cities like Lagos (Nigeria) has created a huge opportunity for car tracking devices which are used to monitor the movement of a vehicle and locate it if it’s stolen.
3) Guard dogs:
Yes, the trend is catching on. There is a growing demand for guard dogs by households, private and government security outfits. The biggest opportunities in this space are in breeding guard dogs and selling them, training, pet food and dog healthcare. Pet (dog) food is another fast-growing segment.