I would also go further and say the time has come to challenge the thinking, particularly prevalent in Africa, that the key to poverty reduction lies more in the business of development than in the development of business. I sometimes get the impression people feel that discussing sophisticated brands, products and markets is inappropriate in a continent where poverty is pervasive. I can accept that many Africans don’t have much money. I can’t accept they are any less intelligent or sophisticated consumers than the rest of us. I do believe that by changing our perceptions we can engage with them to build sustainable and equitable new economies.
1 inShare 6 Ugandan-born Alpesh Patel quit his job at Motorola to start his own pan–African mobile phone brand Mi-Fone. Five years on, Mi-Fone has sold more than 1.5 million devices in 14 countries across the continent. The company – headquartered in Port Louis, Mauritius – targets low income earners in Africa with its handsets that sell at between US$12 and $100.
VENTURES AFRICA – Like many global business leaders, Ken Allen, Chief Executive Officer of global express and logistics provider, DHL Express, has also expressed his opinion on Africa’s immense potential for investments.
Inside Africa, CNN’s weekly programme that explores the diversity of different cultures, countries and regions will focus Errol Barnett’s visit to Lagos Nigeria during the just concluded Social Media Week. Errol who went round Lagos, on a journey to discover how new technology is helping solve problems in Africa’s biggest city.
Hotel developments across the continent are growing as international hotel groups start to recognise the potential for ‘destination Africa’. With business travel increasing in many African regions, and tourism destinations requiring leisure hotels to meet the needs of travellers from around the world, Africa offers potential for multinational hotel brands.
...Wiese said that greater intra-African trade is needed to really kick-start the African consumer story. “It is still a very sad fact that of all African trade, less than 15% is intra-African. And you know it is trade that makes economies grow, and that creates the consumer that you want.”
As tech enthusiasts around the world awaited the global launch of Samsung’s Galaxy S 4 smartphone, the electronics giant held its annual Africa Forum Cape Town, South Africa, where it announced a range of new electronics manufactured for the Africa market. The forum under the theme, ‘Journey of Wonder’ attracted approximately 200 journalists from across Africa, all of whom have flocked to Cape Town to experience electronics that will be made available to the continent in the coming months.
Cote d’Ivoire-born Swaady Martin-Leke is the founder and CEO of YSWARA, a newly launched African tea company that is targeted at the higher-end consumer market. The company is based in South Africa, but sources its teas from across the continent. According to Martin-Leke, the luxury market in Africa offers increasing opportunities with the steady growth in the African middle class and discretionary income.
Over 32.5 million Nigerians access the Internet via telecommunications networks, the Nigerian Communications Commission has revealed. The fast growing number is led by the rapid rise of smartphone adoption in the country led by aggressive marketing by smartphone device manufacturers such as Blackberry, Samsung and Huawei.
I find that the youth are in too much of a hurry. Successful businesses are built one step at a time. You can’t take shortcuts. It may look foolish, but honesty really is the best policy. The youth need to be focused and do things properly. They don’t need to reinvent the wheel.
Ghanaian bars and restaurants have got a taste for a growing attitude in the region, and treat world-class local ingredients with the seriousness they deserve. Republic has an ethos of using local ingredients, championing traditional Ghanaian brews and ingredients but serving them up with a twist, and its owners say they are part of a foodie revolution beginning in the region, marking a new dawn in attitudes to eating.
Kenyan businessman Paul Kinuthia recently sold the health and beauty divisions of his Interconsumer Products to L'Oreal for an undisclosed amount speculated to be in the millions. He still owns and runs the remaining businesses such as diapers.
VENTURES AFRICA – At 10, Nigerian-born Sim Shagaya began writing computer codes. At Christmas, he would program his basic computer, run syntaxes, and connect it to a TV set to display ‘Merry Christmas’ and a digital xmas tree. Many years later, upon graduating as an Electrical Engineer from George Washington University, and bagging his MBA at Harvard Business School, he became the Vice President of Rand Merchant Bank (West Africa), after which he led Google Africa. Over the years, he has founded several tech startups – iNollywood, E-motion, DealDey, and Konga – the latest of which is Konga.com, a Nigerian online shopping mall launched July 2012 with 7 workers, which currently has grown to 130.
Representatives from African countries are to visit Delhi for the India Africa partnership forum With weak demand for Indian goods in traditional markets such as Europe and the US, Africa provides an increasingly important opportunity, but can India challenge China's influence on the continent?
VENTURES AFRICA – Under the “Africa Information Highway” initiative by The African Development Bank (AfDB), Open Data Platforms has been launched for 20 African countries to improve data management and dissemination in Africa.
VENTURES AFRICA – Nigeria’s capital Abuja, and commercial city Lagos, have been rated as the second and fourth most expensive African cities respectively, according to an index by theEconomist Intelligence Unit (EIU) on 25 African cities just ahead of the Nigerian Summit 2013.
Saheed Adepoju, 30, is co-founder of the Encipher Group, a Nigerian technology company famed for producing the country’s first tablet computer, called the ‘Inye’. Adepoju told How we made it in Africa’s Dinfin Mulupi more about the company and the state of Nigeria’s technology sector. Below are excerpts.