Are business opportunities being missed because of misinformation? In the case of Africa, yes.
Online PR News – 24-January-2010 – – Writer and journalist, Paschal Eze, speaks with blunt clarity about one reason why Africa struggles with image, which impacts business opportunities. He says, “It’s not only the Western media, but also African media who do not represent Africa well. You see how places like Vietnam have transformed in the minds of people to a destination for business. Not so with Africa.”
While Africa is misrepresented or underrepresented, business opportunities and potential economic growth pass by. The information series, “Changing the Way We Do Business in Africa,” explores practical approaches to bolster trade in Africa. It specifically targets media, business, and donors – projectors of the curse of Africa but potential partners in problem solving.
The first article, “Africa: Taking on the World,” shared by Brainstorm Magazine of South Africa stresses the importance for African nations, industries, and firms to change their paradigm of competitiveness. Even with challenges inherent in Africa, they can excel within their unique competitive space. Malik Fal, Managing Director of Endeavor South Africa, is quoted as saying, ““Africa’s mistake has been competing on basic factors like natural resources and cheap labour, which promotes poverty instead of prosperity.”
The second article, “Doing Business in Africa: What We Can Learn from Obama’s Ghana Speech,” covers a new paradigm shift for Western countries expressed in President Obama’s speech in the Ghanian parliament last year. It highlights the need to focus on partnership, prosperity, purpose, planning, etc. Just like in any other business venture in today’s global economy. Many African business paradigms are still rooted in the colonial system of business, which do not create win-win situations for stakeholders.
An upcoming article, “Media’s Problem with Africa or Africa’s Problem with Media,” summarizes an interview of Paschal Eze on West African Democracy Radio. In the interview, Eze even challenges African governments to improve how they promote themselves. It’s perhaps a lesson that has been learned by Kenya. In 2008, the Kenyan Investment Promotion Agency was identified as one of the best. In 2009, Kenya hired the U.S.-based consulting firm, CLS & Associates, to manage its image.
And the upcoming, final article, “Practical Ways to Enhance African Trade,” shares insights from Nissi Ekpott, an Afribiz writer, based on his years of experience in business. The main theme of “trade instead of aid” in the article isn’t concerned with the macro aid systems addressed by Dambisa Moyo’s, “Dead Aid,” but with the practical ways donors and others can transform African business. For example, one tip is for charity organizations to allocate 25% of their donations to for-profit, sustainable enterprises in communities.
The intent of this series is to continue to challenge the paradigms of doing business Africa. “Africa is the last investment frontier with huge opportunities, but it will continue to miss out on its share of economic development unless Africans and the world alike change their mindsets and how they do business,” says Lauri Elliott, Chief Strategist for Bizconcierge.
Afribiz is a “new economy” communication and community ecosystem focused on promoting increased economic opportunity and successful trade between Africa and the world, as well as between African countries. The driving factor is to support broad-based economic development through for-profit enterprise based on open, inclusive markets.
The ecosystem includes provisioning of information, intelligence, and insights about business and investments in Africa. Afribiz uses web, multimedia, print, radio and TV platforms to interact with the public and its members. It is a key brand of BizConcierge PTY LTD of South Africa.