'Africa's young population is huge market for Indian business'
New Delhi: Indian firms should work to cash in on the demographic dividends on offer in the African continent, an Africa-based Indian corporate leader said here.
"The youth of both India and Africa are becoming very attractive. While the western world, Russia, China, Japan are all graying, the median age in India is 25 and in Africa it is only 18," said Manoj Kohli, CEO (International), Bharti Airtel, who is based in Kenya.
"This ( young population) is fantastic for the mobile industry, for internet and broadband in particular. Millions of customers in Africa use our phones as mobile ATMs," Kohli said at an event Friday evening at the India Habitat Centre to award young entrepreneurs from India and Africa, organized by the initiative Indiafrica: A Shared Future, and supported by the Public Diplomacy Division of India's Ministry of External Affairs.
It were the opportunities offered by a population, that is projected to grow to 2 billion by the end of the decade from the current 1.1 billion, that had prompted Bharti Airtel to invest $13 billion in Africa over a three-year period, said Kohli.
According to Kohli, both India and Africa needed to focus on providing education, particularly the vocational kind, to much larger numbers of people.