Doing Business

The first. Remember that Africa is a continent, not a country only. There is a standard pattern that is worth to operate in all African countries. Although it seems obvious, it is important to note that when we talk about Africa we not speak of one country but of the second continent the world’s largest, consisting of 54 sovereign and distinct interconnected States. For example, South Africa is a modern industrial region, while countries such as Angola, Sudan and Equatorial Guinea are experiencing a spectacular economic growth and expansion thanks to oil capacity. While some countries live off agriculture or subsist thanks to international aid, the Mediterranean coast is being strongly influenced by Arab culture and Islam. The key at this point is to make sure that you know the cultural, economic and political circumstances of each African State where it is intended to operate.

Second. Always initiate contacts through official channels. Before start with your business, please contact always before the official authorities of the country in which will start to work and submit your business plan to anticipate any legal or administrative latch that can hinder the development of the activity. It has a great advantage a priori if you have some prior experience working in diplomatic areas of a government administration or of a large company with local offices in Africa. That will make it much easier to take the reins of the situation and get the necessary contacts. Administrative officials will have a more favorable opinion that whether an employer or a self-employed by opening a new business: A fact, many Americans and Europeans have begun with their new business in Africa after having worked for several years as volunteers in NGOs. Anyway, in the end worked a reputation by what you are doing and not by their words or promises. As he used to say a friend of mine, the people of Africa not WINS them by the advertising or marketing, unlike Europe but by results.

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