With the Western nations stabilizing in terms of growth, the African continent now offers a big opportunity for many businesses. However, the continent is still a mystery to many, given its numerous languages, cultural groups, border issues, and so on. And if you are thinking of starting a business in Africa, then do remember to keep the below tips in mind.
Know The Culture
No matter which part of the world you start your business in, one of the first things you must do is to understand the culture of the place. Africa, being a vast continent, is home to hundreds of languages and cultures. As such, trying to build a pan African business by taking into account the sensibilities of all the cultural groups within the continent can be a bit of an uphill task. So, make sure that you hire a few local consultants who are knowledgeable in African culture and who can help your business be seen pro-African both in front of the various governments and the public. Plus, keep yourself in touch with latest Africa news so that you know the current happenings in the region.
Be Wary Of Corruption
One unfortunate thing you will have to face in Africa is corruption. Being one of the poorest regions of the world, it is inevitable that corruption will be widespread. And you should be able to navigate through all the authorities and officials who will seek to benefit from your interest in starting a business in Africa. If you are unable to deal with such people, then the best thing to do is to stay away from it and let a more suitable person handle such things.
Make sure to educate yourself to the various employment rules of the region. Generally, you will find that the regulations related to employment are far more liberal than in the West. In Europe and the US, there are strict guidelines about minimum wages, employee protection, overnight pay etc. which all businesses are required to follow. However, all such laws can easily be overturned when doing business in Africa. Similarly, you will only need to contribute very little in terms of employee welfare and benefits. But when it comes to hiring foreign workers in Africa, things can get a bit tricky. Most nations in the continent give stress on hiring local workers. So, if your business is going to be heavily dependent on foreign workers, make sure to work out an arrangement with the local authorities.
Know The Biggest Markets
It is also very useful to know the biggest markets in Africa as this can give you a guideline as to which nations to focus on initially. South Africa, Nigeria, Morocco, and Kenya are some of the fastest developing nations in the continent and which are poised for rapid technology adoption over the coming decades. As such, focusing your business to initially make an entry in these markets might make things easier for you.