Murray Steyn
Murray Steyn Executive Head: Wholesale

Business is booming and you have decided to expand your ISP network into Africa. Let’s face it, everyone is trying to get a piece of this burgeoning market. But before you make the move, it is important to do some homework. This blog post highlights a few business tips you should consider before you expand.

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Africa is the second largest continent – but engaging with 54 countries as a single amorphous entity is a mistake. Each country in Africa has its own positives and negatives, opportunities and challenges as well as unique cultures, preferences and accepted behaviours and business practices.

This blog post highlights a few business tips you should consider before you expand. According to PwC , when debating which markets in Africa might be appropriate for you, consider a few questions:

  • Which regions should you expand your network infrastructure into in order to deliver more value to your customers?
  • Which markets should you enter to get the best value from your existing capabilities?
  • Which capabilities do you need to add to your services to ensure you get the most from your expanded offering?

As the Chief Technology Office you are challenged with the demands of business to grow your network and infrastructure into new areas balancing this with the demands from customers to have a reach into new territories. As a starting point, spend some time deciding which African countries have the greatest potential relative to your offerings. PwC highlights wealth and institutional quality as factors that businesses should pay the most attention to when selecting target countries.

Here are more business tips to keep in mind:

Factor in the inconsistencies in infrastructure. African countries are largely different when it comes to infrastructure and inconsistencies need to be planned for. Infrastructure such as roads, power and telecommunications differ across all countries in Africa and must be accounted for when considering business expansion. Expanding your infrastructure or network offering by expanding your African footprint is best done through existing infrastructure partners who understand the landscape and have built a competency in the region.

Understand the art of African Business. There are 54 countries on the African Continent so viewing them as a whole will not foster positive business partnerships. Each African country has a set of business rules and nuances that you will want to learn when partnering with a local supplier.

Invest where it counts. As mentioned above, if you select the right country and do your research around the region’s challenges, you will be better equipped to invest your time and resources in areas that will provide the most profitable results.

Build strategic relationships. Partnerships with local service providers are critical for business success and growth in Africa. Building relationships with service providers that demonstrate long-standing commitment and a continuous on-the-ground presence will be essential to business continuity on the continent. According to PwC, “Given that an increasing number of countries are passing or strengthening local content laws and policies, investors should anticipate working with local partners.”

Our comprehensive business tips will streamline your African expansion. If you are keen to learn more, download our guide to expanding your business with wholesale partnerships.

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