Multinational company

Top 10 Multinational Companies That Have Their Roots in Africa

by Oluwapelumi Eweje

We hear the big names, sound the alarms, and often want to associate and stand to be identified with certain industry giants when we have the opportunity. Little did you know that most of these multinational companies with an eminent presence in major parts of the world have their roots in the core of Africa.

Africa, often referred to as the “cradle of humanity,” is a continent teeming with natural resources and untapped potential and home to many of the multinational companies we celebrate and look up to worldwide today.

Here, we will take a closer look at the top multinational companies that have their roots in Africa, contributing to the continent’s economic growth and that of others and reshaping industries. But very quickly, before we check out these companies, let’s educate ourselves briefly on what a multinational company is.

What is a Multinational Company?

A multinational company is a corporation that operates in multiple countries, conducting business, production, or services on a global scale with the ability to adapt and thrive in diverse international markets. They have a substantial international presence with subsidiaries, branches, or affiliates in various regions.

Multinational companies employ a significant and diverse workforce from various nationalities and backgrounds. These characteristics reflect the complexity and adaptability of multinational companies as they navigate the challenges and opportunities of the global business landscape.

Top 10 Multinational Companies With Roots in Nigeria

  1. MTN group limited, South Africa

MTN Group Logo

MTN Group Logo

The MTN Group (formerly M-Cell) is a multinational telecommunications company that has its roots in Africa, especially South Africa. MTN, which stands for “Mobile Telephone Networks,” was initially established in partnership with telecommunication companies in other African countries and with the South African government in 1994.

It is the largest mobile network operator in Africa and one of the best multinational companies in the world. Its head office is situated in Johannesburg, South Africa, with strong operations in major parts of Africa and the Middle East.

The company’s achievements and development have made it one of the leading multinational companies that have emerged in Africa and become a major player in the global telecommunications industry. MTN is present in several African countries, like Nigeria, Uganda, Ghana, and Ivory Coast.

Read Also: How to Get Quick and Free Data on MTN (MTN Pulse Points, Borrowing Data)

  1. Dangote group, Nigeria

Dangote Group Logo

Dangote Group Logo

A multinational conglomerate rooted in Africa, specifically in Nigeria. The Dangote Group was founded by Aliko Dangote, a Nigerian business mogul and entrepreneur, in 1981, with its headquarters in Lagos, Nigeria. The Dangote Group is one of Africa’s most massive and diversified business conglomerates, involving various industries, including sugar refining, cement production, salt processing, flour milling, real estate, and more.

Some of the group’s subsidiaries include Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc, Dangote Cement, and National Salt Co. Nigeria. Mr. Aliko’s vision and leadership have led to the group’s remarkable growth and success, making it a prominent multinational company with deep African roots. Affiliates, subsidiaries, and branches exist in African countries like Benin, Cameroon, Ghana, South Africa, Zambia, and more.

Read Also: 10 Untold Lessons From The Richest Man in Nigeria

  1. Standard bank group, South Africa

Standard Bank Group Logo

Standard Bank Group Logo

The Stanbic Bank Group is a major African financial institution founded in South Africa in 1862 and has a long history of providing banking and financial services.

With its headquarters in Johannesburg, South Africa, the company has expanded its operations across several African countries, making it one of the continent’s largest and most influential banking groups. Its strong existence and loyalty to Africa have contributed to its reputation as a key player in the region’s financial sector, connecting Africa to seven international markets.

The Standard Bank Group now trades under Stanbic Bank in African countries like Nigeria, Ghana, Congo, Kenya, Tanzania, the DRC, Malawi, Zimbabwe, and more.

  1. Shoprite holdings, South Africa

Shoprite Holdings Logo

Shoprite Holdings Logo

Shoprite Holdings is a consumer goods retail giant with its roots firmly planted in Africa. Founded in South Africa in 1979, the company started as a small grocery store in Cape Town and has grown into the biggest food retailer on the continent. It has expanded its footprint beyond South Africa and operates in multiple African countries, including Nigeria, Zambia, Kenya, and others.

This expansion has made it a prominent example of African-born multinational companies. Shoprite’s existence has transformed the retail landscape in these countries and contributed to providing jobs, promoting trade, and enriching economic development. Present in places outside South Africa, such as Mauritius, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Madagascar, Nigeria, Uganda, Tanzania, and more.

  1. Naspers limited, South Africa

Naspers Limited Logo

Naspers Limited Logo

Naspers Limited is a multinational technology and media company founded in 1915 in Stellenbosch, South Africa. It was originally a newspaper publisher but has since evolved into a global internet and entertainment group.

It is well known for its early investment in tech companies, including a significant stake in Tencent, a Chinese tech giant. These investments have made Naspers one of the largest technology investors globally.

It has expanded its global footprint beyond Africa and has become a leading company with a notable international presence, particularly in the e-commerce and technology sectors. The company is operating in more than 130 countries and markets globally, with long-term growth prospects.

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  1. Vodacom, South Africa

Vodacom Logo

Vodacom Logo

Vodacom is also one of Africa’s biggest multinational companies, first situated in South Africa. It was founded in 1994 and has since become one of the leading mobile network operators on the African continent.

Vodacom introduced the first mobile network in South Africa and has played a crucial role in expanding mobile connectivity and digital services across Africa. Achievements include:

  • Its extensive mobile network coverage.
  • Facilitating financial inclusion through services like M-Pesa.
  • Contributing to advancements in 4G and 5G technology.
  • Fostering digital opportunities.
  • Increasing connectivity for millions of people across the region.

It has grown its operations to include networks and business services to customers in over 32 countries, both continentally and globally. Both Vodacom and Safaricom exist in a joint venture to accelerate M-Pesa expansion.

  1. Safaricom, Kenya

Safaricom Logo

Safaricom is a leading telecommunications multinational company founded in 1997 in Kenya. It has played a notable role in shaping the mobile communications landscape in Kenya. It has become an outstanding telecommunications success story on the continent. It is known for its innovations, including the M-Pesa mobile money service, which has greatly impacted digital payment and financial inclusion within Kenya, other parts of Africa, and the world.

Its headquarters are in Nairobi, Kenya, and it plays a key role in the African telecommunications market.

  1. Sanlam global, South Africa

Sanlam Global Logo

Sanlam Global Logo

Sanlam is a prominent financing services group firmly rooted in the African continent. Established in South Africa in 1918, Sanlam stands as one of the continent’s oldest and most capable non-banking financial institutions.

Over decades, this company has broadened its operations and diversified its financial services, including investments, insurance, and asset management. Sanlam’s headquarters are located in Bellville, South Africa, and with a strong presence in South Africa, it has extended its footprints into other African countries, with a niche presence in Malaysia and India.

It is acknowledged as a leading player in the African financial services sector and has a duty to serve the financial needs of its diverse customer base in Africa and beyond.

  1. Orascom construction, Egypt

Orascom Construction Logo

Orascom Construction Logo

Orascom Construction, based in Egypt, is a leading global engineering and construction firm founded in 1950. It has a rich history of undertaking significant infrastructure projects within the continent and globe: the Middle East, Africa, and the United States. With its headquarters in Cairo, Orascom Construction has consistently demonstrated its prowess in constructing bridges, major roads, airports, and energy infrastructure projects, solidifying its reputation as a key player in the African construction industry and beyond.

  1. Ecobank transnational Inc., Togo

Ecobank Transnational Inc. Logo

Ecobank Transnational Inc. Logo

The pan-African multinational banking group was established in Togo in 1985 and has a presence in nearly 40 African countries. Ecobank’s expansion within the continent highlights its commitment to facilitating financial services and trade across Africa, contributing to economic development.

This bank is one of the top multinational companies and corporations that have flourished within and beyond the continent, emphasizing Africa’s potential in the financial sector. It’s one of the leading independent banking groups in Central Africa and West Africa, with subsidiaries in Southern and Eastern Africa.

Its headquarters are in Lome Togo, and it also has affiliates in China, France, Dubai, and the United Kingdom.

Read Also: Top 10 Companies in Africa You Should Know

Note: These multinational companies are not listed in order of market value or capitalization. Instead, they are showcased simultaneously, emphasizing their prominence in the global business arena.


In the ever-evolving global business landscape, these African-born multinational companies stand tall as a beacon of innovation, hope, and resilience. They are rooted in Africa and booming worldwide, rewriting narratives and confirming that the continent is also a Cradle of Success. With innovation running through their DNA, these companies show that much is present in the future, no matter where you start. It’s a journey of unstoppable growth fueled by African spirit.

Do you want toknow moe about the impact of Africa to world? Follow us on Twitter for discussion and comments as we share updates on that.

Edited by Emmanuel Odebiyi

About Author

Avatar of Oluwapelumi Eweje
Oluwapelumi Eweje
Oluwapelumi is a young, vibrant, and experienced creative content writer, product designer, freelancer and diplomat.

She’s passionate about words, and their usage to make utmost meaning to every audience. She’s an author of several blog posts and articles in the Personal Development, Business, Health, and Travel fields on Medium and a devoted lover of God.

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