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Charles Brewer, DHL Express Sub-Saharan Africa MD

As of 6 April 2014, Nigeria overtook South Africa as Africa’s largest economy, after rebasing calculation almost doubled its gross domestic product.

Nigeria Bureau of Statistics reported that the GDP for 2013 was 80.22 trillion naira, or $509.9 billion, up from the 42.3 trillion estimated before the rebased calculation. This makes the Nigerian economy approximately 60% bigger than South Africa’s and the 26th biggest economy in the world, up from 33rd before the rebasing.

According to Charles Brewer, Managing Director for DHL Express Sub-Saharan Africa, the company has long seen the potential in Nigeria’s economy since launching its first Africa office in Nigeria in 1978. “The growing global interest in Africa as a destination for investment is well documented, due to Africa being home to some of the world’s fastest-growing economies. Investor interest in Nigeria has particularly peaked over the years as sectors in the country have diversified due to the growing consumer market and rising middle class.”

The rebasing GDP data calculation, which hadn’t been amended since 1990, now factor in industry sectors such oil and gas, finance, retail, telecommunications, as well as its rapidly growing film industry, Nollywood.

“For example, Nigeria’s Information Communication Technology (ICT) sector has grown exponentially over the past five years and with the recent implementation of its five-year National Broadband Plan, Nigeria’s broadband internet penetration is set to increase by 80% by the end of 2018. This on-going technological growth has resulted in online shopping becoming a way of life for many citizens, and due to the lack of customs challenges and high import tax present within the region, the sector is likely to continue expanding and aiding the country’s GDP growth,” says Brewer.

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