DEEP Insight

Africa: Avenues to Growth Premium

Africa is streets ahead of where it was a decade ago. Navigate the complexities of the continent with this dossier.

This executive dossier includes the following articles:

Five Pillars for Doing Business in Africa Premium

A Road Map to Opportunities

Mudida, Robert; Lago, Alejandro

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.

Strategies That Go the Distance in Africa Premium

Crossing the Divides

Ariño, Africa

What do you need to know to expand your operations across the African continent? Quantitative data and statistical analyses are meaningless unless they go hand-in-hand with a deeper understanding and appreciation of the non-traditional factors that make growing a business there possible. This article shares the collective wisdom of African business leaders on the do's and don'ts of internationalizing in Africa, based on first-person interviews the author conducted during a research sabbatical there. Managers agree that a hands-on approach to get at the soft variables yields far richer clues to make informed strategic decisions than relying on the hard numbers alone. Above all, any business strategy in Africa must have socioeconomic transformation at its core.

What Kind of Leader Will Thrive in Africa? Premium

Putting Success in Context

Ovadje, Franca

This article discusses the context-specific factors that leaders must take into account when managing people and doing business in Africa, mainly sub-Saharan Africa and in particular, Nigeria. The author draws on several studies she has done as director of the Center for Research in Leadership and Ethics at Lagos Business School. First, she describes the general sociocultural context of sub-Saharan Africa. Then, she highlights the appropriate leadership qualities that are needed to succeed in this context. Finally, she reflects on whether the same principles hold true for the Millennial generation, based on her research of young Nigerian graduates. Their shifting preferences must be noted, she says, both to engage them today and also because they represent the African leaders of tomorrow.

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