People mingle in a Nairobi market
Tech hubs like Nairobi (above), Cape Town and Cairo have been of particular interest to investors © Brian Otieno, for the FT

After a recent period in which capital flows to emerging markets have slowed and start-up companies have been rattled by the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank, the FT/Statista 2023 annual ranking of Africa’s fastest-growing companies (below) casts its gaze back to encapsulate a time of corporate dynamism at what was the height of the pandemic.

The ranking, now in its second year, shows that companies in sectors including fintech, renewable energy, healthcare, commodities and agriculture were managing to grow their businesses while much of the world shut down.

Africa’s Fastest Growing Companies 2023
RankCompany nameBrandCountrySectorAbsolute growth rate (%)Compound annual growth rate (CAGR, %)Revenues 2021 ($mn)Revenues 2018 ($mn)Number of employees 2021Number of employees 2018Founding year
1AFEX Commodities Exchange Ltd.AFEXNigeriaAgriculture, Forestry & Fishing22,076.31505.2891020.5278642014
2Moniepoint, Inc. (formerly TeamApt, Inc.)MoniepointNigeriaFintech, Financial Services & Insurance7,372.70321.20462.60.8538642015
3Sokowatch Ltd.WasokoKenyaE-commerce3,901.40242.035136.93.41,4901042016
4AltechAltechDemocratic Republic of CongoEnergy & Utilities3,017.43214.726170.54,0008002013
5The Africaworks Group of CompaniesAfricaworksMauritiusReal estate2,314.43189.0276.80.3105122017
6Deimos Cloud Pty Ltd.DeimosSouth AfricaIT & Software2,029.62177.1849.50.56872018
7Daystar Power GroupDaystar PowerMauritiusEnergy & Utilities954.621119.2976.40.6130252017
8Sankore Ltd.SankoreNigeriaFintech, Financial Services & Insurance810.692108.82916.61.871602010
9Easy Solar Ltd.Easy SolarSierra LeoneEnergy & Utilities792.83107.4557.20.8264652016
10Chari. MaChariMoroccoE-commerce642.60995.0981.80.211062018
11Globe Medex For Trade And DistributionGlobe MedexEgyptHealthcare & Life Sciences642.48895.08820.31262017
12Bluesky Digital Solutions Pty Ltd.BlueskySouth AfricaIT & Software636.64994.57511.11.7149152016
13Africa Healthcare NetworkAfrica Healthcare NetworkKenyaHealthcare & Life Sciences618.43792.9585.40.7272512015
14Achill Island Investments Pty Ltd.AchillNamibiaAgriculture, Forestry & Fishing578.63989.3279.81.6115522015
15Victory Farms Ltd.Victory FarmsKenyaAgriculture, Forestry & Fishing563.02387.86417.32.85633172015
16Lipa Later Ltd.Lipa LaterKenyaFintech, Financial Services & Insurance525.80384.283.50.625102017
17Alpha Morgan Capital Managers Ltd.Alpha Morgan CapitalNigeriaFintech, Financial Services & Insurance508.47782.5648.61.659222012
18Neveah Ltd.NeveahNigeriaMetals & Mining442.93175.75814.83.12572014
19Al Karm For Solar Energy S.A.E.KarmsolarEgyptEnergy & Utilities442.64675.7275.10.8102702011
20Bluecamp Ltd.BluecampNigeriaConstruction & Engineering442.58575.7213.40.71252005
21Poa Internet Kenya Ltd.Poa InternetKenyaMedia & Telecommunications409.04472.0221.50.386662015
22Veritasi Homes And Properties Ltd.Veritasi HomesNigeriaReal estate357.19565.97248.311.832142017
23Northam Platinum Holdings Ltd.Northam PlatinumSouth AfricaMetals & Mining332.0262.8682,117.20587.518,28815,9531977
24Comercio Partners Ltd.Comercio PartnersNigeriaFintech, Financial Services & Insurance322.15261.6183.8135152016
25Silverlands Vineyards Pty Ltd.Silverlands VineyardsNamibiaAgriculture, Forestry & Fishing311.78560.28413.33.51341582015
26Zambia Seed Company Ltd.ZamseedZambiaAgriculture, Forestry & Fishing282.46656.38612.85.91661031974
27Tropical General Investments Ltd.TGI Africa — FoodsNigeriaFood & Beverages273.35755.134542162.24,5573,5171980
28Vertice Medtech Holdings Pty Ltd.Vertice MedtechSouth AfricaHealthcare & Life Sciences262.69353.64378.423.75891532018
29Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd.ImplatsSouth AfricaMetals & Mining261.39653.468,408.302,789.2043,82056,7161966
30Talenteum AfricaTalenteum. ComMauritiusEmployment Services258.55253.05641.1200402017
31Routed Hosting Pty Ltd.Routed HostingSouth AfricaIT & Software247.8451.51624.97.1532016
32Kawai Technologies Ltd.Kawai TechnologiesNigeriaLogistics & Transportation241.46550.5856.72.21042007
33Sibanye Stillwater Ltd.Sibanye StillwaterSouth AfricaMetals & Mining239.92550.35811,641.703,823.5084,98184,7752013
34Paga Group Ltd.PagaNigeriaFintech, Financial Services & Insurance238.07250.08559.119.52302892009
35Copia Global, Inc.CopiaKenyaE-commerce236.92949.91530.18.96591902013
36Herholdt’S Group Pty Ltd.Herholdt’S GroupSouth AfricaEnergy & Utilities230.40348.941100.6342011611989
37Luxity Pty Ltd.LuxitySouth AfricaE-commerce229.47748.8021.90.624132015
38Linkfields Innovations Pty Ltd.Linkfields InnovationsSouth AfricaIT & Software220.6747.4644.71.6119392008
39Foodco Nigeria Ltd.FoodcoNigeriaRetail203.83744.83724.28.97854211982
40Leatt Corp.LeattSouth AfricaRetail197.12643.76372.524.498872001
41Nclose Pty Ltd.NcloseSouth AfricaIT & Software191.79842.8989.63.771252006
42Purple Group Ltd.Purple GroupSouth AfricaFintech, Financial Services & Insurance191.6442.87313.55.4NANA1998
43Fourth Generation Capital Ltd.4G CapitalKenyaFintech, Financial Services & Insurance186.53642.03417.365413692014
44Suez Canal Bank S. A. EScbankEgyptFintech, Financial Services & Insurance180.36741.008208.265.51,4111,2411978
45Entelect Software Pty Ltd.EntelectSouth AfricaIT & Software180.08840.96182.831.91,0335072007
46Cairo For Investment And Real Estate DevelopmentCira EducationEgyptEducation & Social Services168.71639.02788.629.24,2634,1001992
47Iser Pty Ltd.Expert South AfricaSouth AfricaE-commerce165.39138.45112053.41261011999
48Hearx GroupHearxSouth AfricaHealthcare & Life Sciences160.52337.5992.71112382016
49Pan African Resources PlcPan African ResourcesSouth AfricaMetals & Mining152.72736.212368.9146NANA2000
50M-Kopa Holdings Ltd.M-KopaKenyaFintech, Financial Services & Insurance144.92234.796142.958.32,0288552011
51African Rainbow Minerals Ltd.African Rainbow MineralsSouth AfricaMetals & Mining141.42734.1511,291.70573.8NANA1933
52Naspers Ltd.NaspersSouth AfricaMedia & Telecommunications141.26434.1217,940.003,291.0028,44525,5271915
53Bonben Assurance Namibia Ltd.Bonlife NamibiaNamibiaFintech, Financial Services & Insurance138.84133.6714.42.243351996
54LateriteLateriteKenyaIT & Software131.10432.2125.42.466452010
55Rt Briscoe PlcBriscoeNigeriaRetail129.59631.92329.514.32061991957
56Virtua Technologies Pty Ltd.Virtua TechnologiesNamibiaIT & Software128.94231.7986.3335152016
57Eadvance Pty Ltd.Spark SchoolsSouth AfricaEducation & Social Services122.86230.6212512.51,0777802012
58Flour Mills Of Nigeria PlcFlour Mills Of NigeriaNigeriaManufacturing120.66630.192,837.501,458.405,1325,1151960
59Investment One Financial Services LimitedInvestment OneNigeriaFintech, Financial Services & Insurance120.64230.18518.49.31901352008
60Nico Technologies Ltd.NicoMalawiIT & Software118.80329.8232.61.234252002
61JibucoJibuRwandaFood & Beverages116.82529.4313.21.5115452012
62Reefy Micro-Finance Enterprise ServicesReefyEgyptFintech, Financial Services & Insurance105.54227.14538.916.72,5951,2242007
63Zen Petroleum Ltd.Zen PetroleumGhanaEnergy & Utilities105.41927.12405.3246.58965152012
64Harmony Gold Mining Co. Ltd.HarmonySouth AfricaMetals & Mining104.05326.8382,708.101,591.0048,11348,1131950
65Spur Corp. Ltd.SpurSouth AfricaHospitality & Travel102.39426.493118.662.9NANA1998
66Trexm Oil And Gas Services Nigeria Ltd.TrexmNigeriaConstruction & Engineering97.78525.5259.14.620152014
67United Capital PlcUnited CapitalNigeriaFintech, Financial Services & Insurance95.10124.95544.825.6103892002
68Mnt-HalanMnt-HalanEgyptFintech, Financial Services & Insurance92.5724.412258118.115,7097,7602018
69Tripple Gee & Company PlcTripple GeeNigeriaProfessional, Scientific & Technical Services91.94524.2783.92.2104891980
70Enterprise Group PLCEnterprise GroupGhanaFintech, Financial Services & Insurance91.72524.23198129.7n.a.n.a.1924
71Fidson Healthcare PlcFidson HealthcareNigeriaHealthcare & Life Sciences90.14823.88876.544.9n.a.n.a.1995
72Surtech Solutions Pty Ltd.SurtechSouth AfricaIT & Software88.57923.5479.15.865482018
73Silverlands Tanzania Ltd.Silverlands TanzaniaTanzaniaAgriculture, Forestry & Fishing85.08322.77837.520.69546752013
74Zone (formerly Appzone Ltd.)ZoneNigeriaFintech, Financial Services & Insurance83.76422.4862,455.401,336.102221332008
75Vitafoam Nigeria PlcVitafoamNigeriaRetail81.24221.92389.354.2n.a.n.a.1962
76Sea Harvest Group Ltd.Sea HarvestSouth AfricaAgriculture, Forestry & Fishing78.66321.3423121955,2704,0401964
77Sygnia Ltd.SygniaSouth AfricaFintech, Financial Services & Insurance74.72720.44549.732.3NANA2006
78Julius Berger Nigeria PlcJulius BergerNigeriaConstruction & Engineering74.08820.297839.5538.713,35811,8051965
79Electrum Payments Pty Ltd.ElectrumSouth AfricaIT & Software71.75719.75853.285402012
80Lapigems Ltd.The Rare Gemstone CompanyKenyaE-commerce71.23419.6361.50.91481974
81Gold Fields Ltd.Gold FieldsSouth AfricaMetals & Mining62.74317.6254,195.202,577.805,9575,6411887
82Impax Business Solutions Ltd.ImpaxKenyaIT & Software56.16916.022.71.976522003
83East African Business Company Ltd.EabclKenyaAgriculture, Forestry & Fishing54.96115.723.62.549242011
84Dangote Cement PlcDangote CementNigeriaConstruction & Engineering53.53115.3633.42.59,50811,4121992
85Sterling Bank PlcSterling BankNigeriaFintech, Financial Services & Insurance52.53615.11335.926.32,4042,4011960
86Ocp SAOcpMoroccoChemicals50.78914.6729,376.305,955.1020,10119,6571920
87Blackhouse Media Ltd.BhmNigeriaManagement Consulting49.55614.35842.766562006
88Courteville Business Solutions PlcCourtevilleNigeriaIT & Software48.66314.135.341291212005
89Jachris Hose And Couplings Pty Ltd.JachrisSouth AfricaMetals & Mining47.86413.92517.8143231901976
90Cognition Holdings Ltd.CognitionSouth AfricaIT & Software46.03213.4531512.32052071997
91Dis-Chem Pharmacies Ltd.Dis-Chem PharmaciesSouth AfricaRetail41.95412.3872,045.201,574.70NANA1978
92El Fayrouz Company For Converting And Cutting PaperEl Fayrouz Company For Converting And Cutting PaperEgyptAgriculture, Forestry & Fishing41.46112.25754.433.945251999
93EFG Hermes HoldingEFG HermesEgyptFintech, Financial Services & Insurance41.11212.164387.9242.36,0054,4501984
94Mtn Group Ltd.Mtn GroupSouth AfricaMedia & Telecommunications34.99310.51912,280.7010,156.40NANA1994
95IHS Nigeria Ltd.IHS NigeriaNigeriaMedia & Telecommunications34.47910.3791,146.70852.73363332001
96Label’Vie SALabel’VieMoroccoFood & Beverages30.179.1871,307.80962.2NA6,9031985
97Osman Ahmed Osman & Co.The Arab Contractors CompanyEgyptConstruction & Engineering29.8839.1072,377.301,830.4066,54967,8741955
98Exxaro Resources Ltd.Exxaro ResourcesSouth AfricaEnergy & Utilities28.5598.7352,215.601,924.006,7456,7392000
99Dakawou Transport Ltd.Dakawou TransportKenyaLogistics & Transportation27.5778.45711.29.54453081990
100Opennetworks Proprietary Ltd.OpennetworksSouth AfricaIT & Software25.5897.8916.85.929142000

As in the ranking’s inaugural year, Covid appears to have accelerated the move online, with companies providing digital services in finance, payments, trade facilitation and healthcare all making headway.

It also seems to have been the time in which Silicon Valley investors, as well as those in Asia and Europe, discovered potential in the African start-up scene, particularly in the tech hubs of Lagos, Cape Town, Johannesburg, Nairobi and Cairo.

“A​​ lot of my friends . . . in Silicon Valley were getting FOMO [fear of missing out] about Africa,” says Steve Beck, co-founder of Novastar Ventures, a Nairobi-based venture capital firm. “They were starting to put money to work on the continent, flying in and out and pushing up valuations.”

Figures from San Francisco-based tech and digital investment platform Partech, Beck notes, show that African tech start-ups raised $5.2bn in 2021, three times more than the previous year. Valuations, however, have come under pressure in recent months.

Traffic gridlock on a market day in Lagos
Busy market day in Lagos: Nigerian companies take top two spots in this year’s list © Benson Ibeabuchi, for the FT

Two Nigerian companies top the latest list of the continent’s fastest growing companies. Abuja-based Afex Commodities Exchange, which provides brokerage and trade finance services for commodities such as maize, sorghum, cocoa and rice, is in first position, with a compound annual growth rate over three years of more than 500 per cent.

Moniepoint, a Lagos-based company that offers banking for small businesses, rates second. Venture capital group Novastar was an early funder.

Third is Kenya’s Wasoko, which headed the list in the previous year. Headquartered in Nairobi, the ecommerce company helps small traders access inventory through more efficient supply chains in seven African countries.

As in the inaugural year, start-ups dominate, but do not monopolise, the list. More established companies in metals and mining, telecoms and construction also make the top 100.

The fintech and IT and software sectors are of key importance in the list, but a noticeable feature of the top 100 is the sheer variety of corporate activity. The fastest-growing companies include a Namibian winery, a Kenyan fish farm, a South African company that conducts remote hearing tests and renewable energy companies in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Sierra Leone.

As in the inaugural year, the list was compiled with Statista, a research company. It ranked  companies by their compound annual growth rate (CAGR) in revenue, between 2018 and 2021.

Many fast-growing companies are privately held and do not publicly disclose detailed financial data. That makes a ranking like this an exercise in approximation and the list does not claim to be definitive.

But the screening process (see methodology, below), which also requires senior executives to sign off on the figures submitted by their companies, means, we hope, that the ranking offers a helpful guide to the companies and sectors that are managing to do business in a complex and fast-changing environment. Future years will reveal just how enduring their business models were.


Africa’s Fastest Growing Companies 2023 lists 100 companies, ordered by the highest compound annual growth (CAGR) in revenues between 2018 and 2021, based on the criteria outlined below.

Application phase

Through research in company databases and other public sources, Statista has identified thousands of companies in Africa as potential candidates for the FT ranking. These companies were invited to participate in the competition by post and email. The project was advertised online and in print, allowing all eligible companies to register via the websites created by Statista and the Financial Times.

The application phase ran from October 5, 2022 to February 17, 2023. The submitted revenue figures had to be certified by the chief financial officer, chief executive or an executive committee member of the company.

Criteria for inclusion in the list

To be included in the list of the Africa’s fastest growing companies, a company had to meet the following criteria:

  • Revenue of at least US $100.000 generated in 2018 (1)

  • Revenue of at least US $1.5mn generated in 2021 (1)

  • The company is independent (the company is not a subsidiary or branch office of any kind).

  • The company’s operational headquarters are located in one of the African countries (2).

  • The revenue growth between 2018 and 2021 was primarily organic (ie “internally” stimulated)

1 Countries that do not use the dollar to express revenues had to provide the average local currency value equivalent over the course of the relevant fiscal year

2 All countries in the African continent were eligible to participate

Calculation of CAGR

The calculation of company growth rates is based on the revenue figures submitted by the companies in the respective national currency. For better comparability in the ranking the revenue figures were converted into US dollars. The average exchange rate for the financial year indicated by the company was used for this purpose.

The compound annual growth rate (CAGR) was calculated as follows:

((revenue 2021/revenue 2018) ^ (1/3)) — 1 = CAGR

Evaluation and quality assurance

All data reported by the companies was processed and checked by Statista. Missing data entries (employee numbers, address data, etc) were researched in detail. Companies that did not fulfil the criteria for inclusion in the ranking were deleted.

The minimum CAGR required to be included in the ranking this year was 7.89 per cent.


The ranking of the Africa’s Fastest Growing Companies 2023 was created through a complex procedure. Although the search was very extensive, the ranking does not claim to be complete, as some companies did not want to make their figures public or did not participate for other reasons.

Companies wishing to participate in next year’s ranking can pre-register here

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2024. All rights reserved.
Reuse this content (opens in new window) CommentsJump to comments section

Follow the topics in this article