Africa: Opportunities to seize on a continent on the rise Premium

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Here at Business Digest we are convinced that leaders need to change the way they look at Africa. We are committed to raising awareness about the numerous opportunities that abound on this continent. Our article “Africa: Opportunities to be seized on a continent on the way up” emphasizes a key principle for business success: engaging in a process of shared development that is profitable for customers, partners, the local population and public authorities alike.

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Don’t think of Africa as a single entity.
Rwanda has as much in common with Senegal as Finland does with Italy! But be careful: don’t adopt a specialized approach based on a particular country, as it may prove complex and have little strategic advantage. Instead, consider acting at the level of the continent’s regional economic communities, since cooperation agreements within each block facilitate business development.

Develop a product or service that meets requirements and fills the gaps. Many needs are not met because of the gaps that divide companies, customers, suppliers, communities and public authorities. Successful companies connect the following:
• Consumers and products / services, by reducing geographical and cultural distances; this is the case, for example, with Equity Bank, which offers regional store managers the opportunity to set up banking services in their shops
• Formal and informal economy, by marketing qualitative and accessible alternatives to products that are potentially dangerous from a health perspective
• Companies and suppliers, by prioritizing partnerships with local businesses and providing them with the means to develop collaboration (industrial equipment, raw materials, skills, etc.)
• Companies and communities, by investing in local expansion: job creation, infrastructure improvements, etc. (but be careful not to make the regions in question dependent on your company)

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Business testimony
Created in 2002 as a result of the merger between South African Breweries and the U.S. company Miller Brewing, SABMiller is now the world’s second largest brewer. The company operates in Europe, Asia and America, yet maintains its roots in Africa, which is currently the group’s main engine of growth. Its factors for success include a marketing approach targeted by country together with a deep understanding of consumer expectations and win-win partnerships with a multitude of small grain producers.

Read our dossier :
Africa: Opportunities to seize on a continent on the rise

Based on Success in Africa: CEO Insights from a Continent on the Rise by Jonathan Berman (Bibliomotion, September 2013).
Business Digest N° 243, February 2014

Watch the video :
Seven strategies for Market Success in Africa

Sarah Boumphrey, Head of Countries and Consumers Research at Euromonitor, highlights seven strategies for businesses looking to enter Africa.