This last few years, we have been told over and over that that Africa is a land of opportunities and that actually happens to be true. The future of Africa is shaping up and leading us to believe that wonderful surprises are to come. The fact that Nigeria has joined the G20 is a proof of that and soon more African countries will do the same, with no shadow of a doubt. However, even though it is true that Africa has true potentials, as an investor, one should know how to go about it in order to make it. Therefore, even though a lot of businessmen have chosen to go to Africa this last few years, as we are noticing foreign companies sprouting all over the African continent, nonetheless plenty of them have yet to entirely benefit from what African has to offer. Why? A lack of knowledge of certain tips and certain cultural codes that are specific to each of the many countries that make the African market.
A good knowledge of the cultural codes
The first thing that an investor should do, if he seeks to have a successful business, is to realise how necessary it is to adapt culturally, to be well prepared and to know how to approach the African market. This is even more true considering the fact that Africa is large and home to many ethnicities different from one another. They have a different kind of living, a different way of thinking, a different way of eating compared to the country next door. “Slides are not enough, you need to know how to send a message. You must be capable of winning the trust of the person you will speak to. The only way of doing that would be to know the cultural codes”, suggested the counselor Fouad Benathmane, Export Area manager for the pharmaceutical lab company Bottu. Nadia Mensah-Acogny, Co-Founder & COO of the firm Acosphere seems to agree with that because she thinks that it is necessary for people who want to come in a sub-saharan country to get information about the culture, about how to approach the people from that country, about how to speak, how to gain trust.
Learn to know Africa !
It is always important for a foreign investor to know Africa. In order to do that, many are those that take some days off and go to a hotel. Even though it is an interesting initiative, it is not however good enough to claim to know the country where you are coming to. Also, Africa as told on the internet, in books, or by friends is never the same as when you experience it for yourself. When you decide to launch a business in Africa, you must conduct a proper assessment of the African market. You need a total immersion for at least 2 or 3 months. Even if you are from Africa and need to settle your business in a country different from the one you were born in, that immersion is necessary to you too, even if it is somewhere you are familiar with. It will help you try on differents countries, whether in West Africa, in Central or even North Africa.
Take the time to do an assessment of the African market, its potentials and its needs.
An investment requires a market assessment no matter where you want to do it. In order to have reliable elements about the African market, giving some money that will allow you to have access to some elements from inquiry results from Marketting firms, is not a waste of your money. This is a valuable tip to take seriously into consideration. especially if you are an investor who cares about making it in the African market. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that the few things you know about Africa via the internet will allow you to have a complete idea of the real challenges of the market. Only specialists will be able to give you a straight and honest answer because after all investing somewhere is not something to be taken lightly.