Prayers for Courts and Tribunals.

Prayers for Courts and Tribunals.

Biblical Text: “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.” Proverbs 14:34 “You shall appoint judges and officers in all your towns that the Lord your God is giving you, according to your tribes, and they shall judge the people with righteous judgment. You shall not pervert justice. You shall not […]

A Good Governance For Your Business.

A Good Governance For Your Business.

In Africa as in other frontier markets, it’s not very useful to prepare for (or react to) corruption in isolation. Corruption typically coincides with other governance issues, such as overwhelming bureaucracy, a shortage of labor or skills, or even both. In this regard, businesses can learn from sociology. It’s better to think about how a […]

Collaboration Rather Than Reciprocity.

Collaboration Rather Than Reciprocity.

A successful relationship with a government goes beyond tit-for-tat. This reciprocity is not collaboration and quickly devolves into a mere balancing of accounts. A productive relationship with frontier market governments is built by pursuing common goals, holding each other accountable. Jeff Immelt of General Electric discovered that this collaborative approach addressed many of the drawbacks […]

MORE AND MORE GOOD GOVERNANCE.

MORE AND MORE GOOD GOVERNANCE.

The politics of governments in Africa is a landscape undergoing significant changes. Its actors are changing, of course, but so are its direction and dominant vision. This landscape is traversed by a path of good governance, commitment, and competence, which is expanding. As I have mentioned before, expectations play a significant role in the quality […]

LONG-TERM COMMITMENT.

LONG-TERM COMMITMENT.

African governments have the same need as others to respond to short-term political deadlines. What distinguishes governments in frontier markets is that they place much more value on long-term commitment from companies. A non-African example can help better understand this point. One of my friends worked in the early 1990s at one of the world’s […]

ADAPTING PROJECTS TO LOCAL CULTURE.

ADAPTING PROJECTS TO LOCAL CULTURE.

“I’ve seen it so often,” says Neville Isdell of Coca-Cola: a company identifies an opportunity in Africa, sends all its expatriates, recreating what they have at home, and manages everything from its European headquarters. It’s expensive, because of salaries, travel, etc. But most of all, it’s expensive because it doesn’t work.” Neville knows what works. […]

TO BE TENACIOUS.

TO BE TENACIOUS.

No one succeeds in Africa by following a straight line. The field of frustrations is extensive, and I have hardly ever known anyone who succeeded in Africa without encountering endless obstacles. Mostly, these are the daily obstacles of life in a system that only halfway works. I spoke with a young Nigerian who was back […]

BUILDING WHAT WE NEED.

BUILDING WHAT WE NEED.

In the 1990s, Chrysler forged the concept of the “extended enterprise”: a company in which different management poles are interdependent, but with multiple and distinct structures. The interaction between an electricity supplier and a manufacturer would be a typical example of this kind of enterprise, at least in the United States or Europe. In Africa, […]

GETTING YOUR HANDS DIRTY

GETTING YOUR HANDS DIRTY

For businesspeople in developed markets, frontier markets are both exciting and daunting. That’s why American, European, Japanese, and even Korean companies tend to keep their distance. Their world and social life are often compartmentalized. It’s comfortable, but from a business perspective, adopting this behavior in Africa is a death sentence. You have to get your […]

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