Many Western businesses have set their sights on the African continent as a new frontier for business and the reasons that are attributed to the increased focus on the continent are the improved political environments, the rich opportunities that have not yet been exploited, and the above average GDP growth rates. Consequently, the governments of those countries have adopted multiple tools and strategies aimed at reforming their economies, and making the business environment more conducive. The strategies adopted have worked to a wide degree and have instilled investor confidence in the region. This has driven the need for African translation services.
Economic Growth in Africa
Growth forecast projections put Africa at a favorable position and one main factor attributed to the growth, is consumer spending. According to O’Marah, “consumer spending is the new engine of growth.” The emerging middle class and the increasingly connected population of about 1 billion people have become part of a market that wants and is ready to purchase products like the ones sold in the US and Europe. The ready market is advantageous for companies that want to increase their customer base and in the long run, increase their profit margins. These factors have in turn encouraged investment in the region.
The population of the region is favorable to Western businesses and according to the World Bank, “Africa is the fastest-growing major area.” A report by the UN titled World Population Prospects the 2015 Revision relayed that more than half of the population growth globally between 2015 and 2050 is expected to occur in Africa. The African region is considered to have the highest population growth rate among major areas and it is postulated that it grows at a rate of 2.55% on an annual basis, based on data gathered between the years 2010 to 2015. It is estimated that there will be an additional number of 2.4 billion people added to the global population between the years 2015 to 2050. Out of the figure, 1.3 billion is expected to be added in Africa. Moreover, after the year 2050, the continent is expected to be the only major region still experiencing significant population growth. The continent’s share of the global population is expected to reach 25% in the year 2050, and rise further to 39% by 2100.
Languages Spoken in African
Companies that seek to reach the middle and upper class Africans, have to focus on the languages spoken in the region such as English, Portuguese, and French because those languages present an option that is convenient for reaching professional markets and government agencies. However, companies with consumer products and information services usually seek a market that encompasses a wider set of audiences. In such cases, it is necessary to translate into a varied number of local languages that may include Arabic, French, Amharic, Somali, Zulu, Swahili, and Afrikaans, among others. The varied languages have made it necessary to prioritize African translation services in a bid to ensure that the general population in the different countries is reached and the message intended is passed in the right way.
Dominance of Arabic in North Africa
Africa is rich in linguistic and cultural diversity and as a result, companies that intend on reaping the benefits of the rising economic tide must turn to translation services that focus on the many tongues from the different regions. For example, Arabic translation services are beneficial in regions in the continents that speak Arabic. The Arabic language is common especially in North Africa and the African Countries that speak Arabic include Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia, Western Sahara, Somalia, Eritrea, Djibouti, and South Sudan, amid others.
African Translation Services
African translation services can help bridge language gaps across the continent, which facilitates cross-border business. Focused translation in Arabic speaking countries in North Africa has proven to be beneficial. The historical connections of North Africa with European countries, and the ready access to markets in the Middle East have helped numerous countries in the region to gather momentum. In Africa, translation is deemed as a major factor that leads to economic prosperity in the region. An analysis of business in the continent reveals that there is a direct positive correlation of investment in translation with economic prosperity, which is why African translation services should be prioritized.
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