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Five Pillars for Doing Business in Africa Premium

A Road Map to Opportunities

Authors: Mudida, Robert; Lago, Alejandro

Date: First Quarter 2015

Tags: Africa, sub-Saharan Africa, economic revolution, macroeconomic indicators, emerging economy

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Companies around the world are setting their sights on Africa as a new frontier for business. However, as with other emerging economies, African ones are tricky to navigate for the uninitiated. This article introduces the five pillars that companies need to consider in the African context. First the authors highlight the main macroeconomic trends; then they present a road map for companies planning to enter African markets. They draw on personal experiences and local insights distilled from interviews and collaborations with dozens of foreign entrepreneurs and executives who are living the realities of doing business on the continent.

Tools and Frameworks:
> "Sub-Saharan Africa: Key Stats" summarizes some of the main macroeconomic data.
> "Country Taxonomy for Doing Business" gives a breakdown of some of the dimensions that need to be assessed as part of a strategic analysis of 47 countries of sub-Saharan Africa.
> "A Road Map for Africa" lists the challenges and actions to take for each of the five pillars of general management that need to form part of your business plan.

Examples Cited:
Coca-Cola, Unilever, Bata, Gallina Blanca, Bidco, Nakumatt, Tuskys, Uchumi, Paul Kinuthia, Nice & Lovely, L'Oréal, Carlyle, Helios, Actis, M-Pesa, Safaricom, Vodafone, Nestlé, Equatorial Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Freightwings, Vegpro, World Bank Group, International Finance Corporation, IFC, General Electric, Mo Ibrahim, Celtel

Research Basis:
Based on personal experiences and local insights distilled from interviews and collaborations with dozens of entrepreneurs and executives who are living the realities of doing business on the continent.

About the Authors:
Robert Mudida is the academic director for the Master of Public Policy and Management at Strathmore Business School.

Alejandro Lago is an associate professor in the Production, Technology and Operations Management Department at IESE.

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