Africa’s Hospitality Industry on the Rise

Jackie Edwards – Recent projections for the continuous development of the hospitality industry across Africa are strong. According to PwC, tourism features as one of the fastest-growing and most vibrant sectors of Africa’s economy, providing opportunities for careers in hospitality and the continent’s economy to thrive and for poverty to reduce as a result.

South Africa, Nigeria, Mauritius, Kenya and Tanzania are the countries touted to register the most significant advancements, with PwC projecting that the revenue for these five main markets will increase at an 8.7% compound annual rate to R59.2 billion by 2021. While the continent reaps the rewards of the industry’s growth, a career in hospitality in Africa affords a number of benefits to those seeking stable employment, including flexibility, knowledge skills and growth and cultural exposure.

Understanding the environment

Without having undertaken a thorough investigation, it would be easy to underestimate the range of possibilities available to anyone looking to make a career for themselves in the hospitality industry. Roles obtainable pertain to a whole host of sub-sectors that range from event planning to catering, from cruise ships to accommodation and lodging. Even so, regardless of the specialism, one thing remains clear. Client and customer experience, particularly their happiness and satisfaction, is always the main focus.

Benefits of working in the hospitality industry

One of the main benefits of working in the hospitality industry in Africa is employment stability. With the country’s tourism sector developing fast, new career opportunities are constantly developing and the chance to rise within the ranks is greater than in many other industries. As well as working in an industry in which regular career advancement is possible, hospitality professionals are also regularly given the chance to learn new skills.

Salary expectations perform fairly well against other industries in Africa too. For example, for a 45-hour week, the current minimum wage for hospitality workers per month in Africa is R3 076.98. It’s also worth noting that a desire to learn and work hard is sometimes all that’s necessary to make a real success of a career in hospitality, as no formal qualifications are required to begin working from the ground up. In fact, as published in a report by Fin24, some of the top restaurants in Africa employ presentable, polite and service-orientated people, regardless of formal qualifications, giving them the chance to earn around R40,000 a month on tips alone.

The range of jobs available

The hospitality industry’s most common sectors include hotels, event planning, restaurants, bars, cafes and tourism. Africa’s hotel industry, in particular, is prospering from an exciting boom at present. A recent study lists more than 300 projects under contract in Africa, covering projects in construction, final planning and planning stages. Cape Town has also been selected to house Africa’s first Radisson Red Hotel, an enterprise set to employ up to 100 people.

In short, if current predictions are on target and Africa’s hospitality industry expands as projections believe it will over the next few years, it could have a really positive impact on both the continent’s economic growth and the lives of many individuals who choose to invest in a hospitality career.