Wednesday, December 7

Some tips for investing in Africa

The other day, I attended a round table on “The global strategic landscape”. The panelists were members of the IESE International Advisory Board. Among them, Bunun Ahoskie, founder and CEO of the Chair Center Group and president of the First Bank of Nigeria. I thought I would share with you some of his advice for foreign companies wishing to investing in Africa:
• Do not bring solutions but be ready to engage with others to find solutions: re-engage the minds of the African people to solve their problems.
• You need local partnerships: coming from outside, you will find a few elements that will challenge your business model.
• You can’t have a short-term goal: you need patience for the investment to mature or for the industry to set up you may need to help shape the industry.
• Know the values ​​of your environment: if you want to build for the long term, you cannot only focus on the economic factor – you must also facilitate social engagement.
His last words were an excellent synthesis of his message: create economic value, create value for people, and then they will support you. I like to hear African businesspeople sending messages that are consistent with those on this blog.
• Some multinationals have an ethnocentric perspective that does not recognize the differences between countries, which brings them on the road to failure.
• Foreign companies must partner with local companies that contribute to market knowledge: if you do not include local companies, you are already at a disadvantage.
• The reflection on the long term is bearing fruit in Africa: this is a striking contrast to the short-term conception so widespread in Western companies.
• Patience capital focuses on long-term performance, but also the social aspects of development.
Do not hesitate to share with us your advice for foreign companies wishing to enter the continent.