This article aims to bridge the gap that continues to exist among many potential investors not yet doing business in Africa. In so doing we highlight the factors that one needs to consider and be aware when embarking doing business in Africa.
Key factors are:
- Securing Credits
- Registering Land
- Investment Protection
- Availability of Electricity
- Tax Policies
- Starting a Business
- Doing Business
- Cross-Border Commerce
Enforcing Contracts There are 48 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa but for the sake of this article we shall focus on 14 member states of the Southern African Development Community [SADC]. SADC’s role is to achieve development, peace and security, and economic growth, to alleviate poverty, enhance the standard and quality of life of the peoples of Southern Africa, and support the socially disadvantaged through regional integration, built on democratic principles and equitable and sustainable development.
An important objective for each Member State of SADC is to achieve sustained Economic Growth and Sustainable Development so that people in the region have better living standards and employment opportunities. Since its inception in 1980, SADC has formulated policies and strategies for Regional Integration in support of economic growth and development. The economic benefits expected from Regional Integration, as shown elsewhere around the world, include increased market size, improved intra-regional trade and investment flows, and increased transfer of technology and experience.
Below is a table showing how each SADC country ranks; the data was derived from a survey carried out by the World Bank in 2011.
Six countries from the SADC region feature in the top 10 best countries to do business in Sub-Saharan Africa, with Mauritius ranked at number 1; South Africa at number 2; Botswana 4; Namibia 6; Zambia 7 and Seychelles at 8. It is no wonder why the number of Foreign Direct Investment [FDI] projects in Africa grew 27% from 2010 to 2011, according to Ernst & Young Africa 2012 Attractiveness Survey. Despite this growth, there remain lingering negative perceptions of the continent – only by those who are not yet doing business in Africa. The UNDP projections show that Africa’s economies are expected to grow by 4.8% in 2013.
Newcomers to Africa need the advice of an intermediary or cross-cultural adviser.
Arnold Matimba is a generalist consultant with nearly 20 years hands-on experience in Telecommunications, Aerospace and Defence, Construction, Retail & Hospitality. Arnold has had exposure to diverse cultures making him highly attuned and aware to clients needs in different regions. Despite having lived and worked in the UK, his desire to promote a positive image of Africa led him to set up Avalanche Consultants Pty Ltd, whose main aim is to offer cross-cultural and consulting services to those keen to do business in Africa. He is also passionate about helping individuals maximise their potential. (Twitter @ArnMatimba)