Lessons for S.Africa companies doing business in the rest of Africa


As South African companies such as Tiger Brands, Standard Bank’s Stanbic IBTC and MTN battle in Nigeria with regulation and the business environment, CNBC Africa spoke to Rosalind Kainyah, Founder of Kina Advisory to find out what businesses need to do to make it.

Companies intending to invest into Africa need to strive for government buy-in and offer relevant needs to the region’s development goals; this is according to Rosalind Kainyah, Founder of Kina Advisory.

She told CNBC Africa it was very important, for companies doing business in Africa to plug in their business strategy into specific countries’ development needs and goals.


“In addition to their core business plan, companies coming into Africa should have an understanding of the specific countries’ bigger picture,” said Kainyah.

“Most of the countries have National Development Plans, some better than others, but it is important to have a good understanding of what specific countries want to achieve and see how their companies fit into that country’s plans.”

Kainyah added that companies made the problem of being too focused on their agenda forgetting to factor local needs of countries they operated in.

“The problem that companies make is being single mindedly focused on their own goals without factoring domestic goals and aspirations. It is important for countries to understand the country and general citizenry as this informs citizens’ [buying behaviours and culture].”

Thomas Konditi the Chief Executive of General Electric (GE) Transportation in sub-Saharan Africa said there was need to relook at policies that hold back integration.

“If you are globally competitive in your home market you win every time. If you have strong operating excellence and can operate between multiple markets this gives you scale and quality to be successful,” he said.

(WATCH VIDEOFast-tracking intra-African trade)

“Africa has 54 countries with each individual economy fighting to protect its borders which stalls trade between these economies,” he added.

“Dubai dropped its borders for people to come and help build and in 50 years it has gone from a small fishing village with a little bit of vision to one of the largest cosmopolitan city states in the world, we can do that in 50 cities in Africa.”