15 Tips on Doing Business in Africa


African Business Forum

US-African Business Forum, August 5th 2014 © Reuters


1.Always follow due process when working, or entering into a new market. Taking short cuts may lead to issues if there are government or ministerial changes.

2.Understand and respect local protocols, and ensure you are fully conversant with local rules, regulations, and changes to legislation.

3.Implement country strategies that underpin regional strategies. Be aware that every market has different local challenges.

4.Try to find local partners with local knowledge, they can use their influence to help you ease into the market.

5.Try to build relationships with ‘Africans’ in the market in which you operate, to assist with underpinning your deals.

6.perform deep due diligence on operations, directors and board members to make sure they are reputable.

7.Ensure you are aware of the cultural nuances of the business you engage with, and ensure they are a good fit for your company.

8.Be aware of any trademark issue, to ensure there are no local companies legally trading off your brand.

9.Leave enough time to plan properly at the beginning of a project.

10.If possible work with local companies in a mutual beneficial relationship, before engaging in an equity-based partnership.

11.Take into consideration that in some African countries, work and business meetings can take place late at night, or on the weekend.

12.Be wary of doing big deals close to election time. Clarify the political links if a deal must be concluded at this time to assess any chance of the deal bring reversed, if a new government comes into power.

13.Once you have a deal in place move quickly to prevent any last-minute offers from other businesses, or investors.

14.Do not assume that because incomes in Africa are generally low consumers will want cheap products. African consumers are highly aspirational.

15.The cost of assets in Africa are rising as competition increases. If you consider prices to currently be too high, assess how badly you want to be in that market. If you consider the asset to be of sufficient quality, the price will only go up.


Business in Africa by Dianna Games

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