Unblock That Block: Get Ready To Start Your African Business

Unblock That Block: Get Ready To Start Your African Business

Let’s be honest. Even as Africans most of us have spent more time voicing concern about the leadership of our respective country and worrying how to support family members than we have spent visualising ourselves building successful African-lead businesses…and now it becomes tricky: in Africa.

We love our family, we love our country, and we love Africa. But these special relationships go usually hand in hand with some kind of over-the-average apprehension. And probably rightly so. Africa is beautiful, but it has undoubtedly presented us all with an array of significant challenges. Often at a very personal level and cost. Yes indeed, we all carry Africa’s stories of passion inside us entwined with experiences of Africa’s trade-mark tests and tragedies.

This is why many of us looked for other places on this globe to aspire our dreams. Places that were safer, better organised…surroundings that presented much greater opportunities for success. We studied, we worked hard, and settled down outside of Africa. Some of us with much less than we hoped to bargain for, others  with at least a well-paid career or our own little business.

And Africa?

Well, Africa remained our home, a warm memory, a sporadic travel destination, and in most cases a postponed future life plan in the far distance. One day… That essence of ‘one day I will do something in Africa, something great, something meaningful, something to give back and to receive back…’ has become part of our mindset and our existence.

And while we have remained safely, sometimes nervously, stuck  in the status quo (some experiencing a strong sense of unconscious gratitude that this future life plan was so far down the road that we would not have to deal with it right now) something remarkable happened:  A  new energy was suddenly streaming out of Africa, reports of fast growing economies, ample investor opportunities, improved governance and regulations, successful entrepreneurial ventures, inspiring accomplishments, new examples of dynamic leadership…Africa – we may have noticed or not – is suddenly making headlines as new global business frontier. In terms of opportunities, it is slowly becoming the new China right at the door steps of the West.

Not sure, you really noticed –  I only did somewhat by chance

We cannot grasp it yet, there was no event or official announcement of any sort that could have prepared us or made us aware in an instance, instead it was a quiet, slow, yet steady process that almost happened unnoticed. And suddenly the figures speak for themselves, Africa has become the second fastest growing regional economy on this planet, foreign governments and analysts have taken notice of this fast emerging market, and everyone doing business in Africa in one way or the other is struck by the rapid occurring changes gearing towards new opportunities and success. Made in Africa.

It is time for us to wake up to the bells ringing in Africa, to answer to the voices calling upon us to be part of Africa’s journey to success. And the best way to do it is to actively participate, to lead by example, and to create your own Africa business, one in which you find everything you always wanted to do, hoped to achieve, longed for to be. The right time for Africa has come, and this is YOUR right time, too. At this very start of Africa’s new economic revolution and despite the many challenges that remain there is huge space for ideas, and little competition, a pool of opportunities, an ocean of new dreams and ambitions. And this is why the right time for your Africa business is right now and not ‘one day’.

Retrieve those long buried or never really pursued aspirations to do something in Africa and bring them into the forefront of your mind. Inform yourself about the new dynamics on the continent, read, discuss, look out for exciting stories, inspirations, prospects.  Write down tangible ideas based on your interests, research the feasibility and formulate precise and measurable goals. Then spell out how your business would benefit Africa. The continent needs business with a cause, even if that just means to train and employ five locals and pay them a dignified salary so they can take care of their families.

So what is the REAL Reason you should be doing business in Africa?

Africa is waiting for you, Africa needs you, because it is at an important cross-road, and as Africans we need to get it right this time. In practical terms this means that we need responsible competitive businesses that can further fuel the economy and drive Africa forward, companies that produce for Africans so the fast rising mass demand for products and services is sufficiently met. As with every business you will face challenges on the ground, but the rewards waiting for you may well be worth it: returns on investment in Africa are currently higher than anywhere else in the world, the opportunities are endless, because there is great demand and insufficient supply..but above all : you are finally pursuing your dream of doing business in Africa, your home, the continent filled with beauty and resilience, where your personal dream of a good life can be quickly and unexpectedly turned into a successful cause with a vision. Is that perspective not what it means to live life to the fullest?

When your journey becomes purposeful, you become more powerful

Mandela once said: ‘Sometimes it falls upon a generation to be great – you can be that generation.’ Indeed you can. While his generation fought for the rights, liberties, and dignity of Africans and while many African nations have been lost in dark decades and unimaginable tragedies it is now time again to rise and shine in Africa. It is time to turn our continent widely characterised by disaster, poverty and dependency into a region of incredible achievements, dynamic markets, inspiring efficiency, environmental and social responsibility, accountability, and humble pride. Yes indeed you can be that generation, you just have to make the decision that you will be! That’s really all it takes. Start now, my friend. Unblock that block inside you and take the first steps. That’s how every life journey begins. And along the way, you are able to create a grand lifestyle for yourself that you really deserve and always quietly longed for. Don’t give up on the dream within you to create a life full of achievements, joy, and prosperity in all aspects. It’s possible, and we are here to show you how in our own humble ways.

It will be a long journey for you and for Africa, but one that has never been so worth taking. Let’s take it together.

Be part of the African renaissance.

Build a grand lifestyle for yourself.

And make a positive impact on the lives of others.


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Dr. Harnet
Dr. Harnet Bokrezion is the Founder of africajumpstart.com and co-author of the book '101 Ways to Make Money in Africa'. She coaches individuals and consults existing companies assisting them to make smart and strategic business decisions in Africa’s new emerging markets faster and more confidently. Dr. Harnet also regularly writes for the renowned DHL powered publication howwemadeitinafrica.com. Get in touch to inquire how she can be of assistance to your own Africa business endeavors: harnet@africajumpstart.com

User Comments ( 6 )

  • Superb post Harnet on why we should begin to build businesses in Africa…. to restore her glory on the world stage. My reasons for “contributing” and “returning” to African by starting business enterprises are many…. I was always bothered by the continual separation here in the United States of African culture from African-American culture. In the media and educational circles Africa was portrayed as the “Dark” continent. When Africa began to shed it colonial shackles in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s with the people’s election of Patrice Lumumba of the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, Africa seemed to be on the verge of a political renaissance with democratic seeds. But colonial and western influences were not ready to let go, and thus these glorious leaders assassinations shed a long shadow of chaos, confusion, and complex issues for the future of Africa.

    Now, some 65 years later, the world is a much different place and with advanced communications technologies, the ability to collectively see progress and its potential to positively impact social and business development in Africa, many are now beginning to see the light and wisdom of constructive and stable development in a world interconnected through mutual commerce and growth.. The brain drain that occurred during those 65 years can now return to build and enhance a new African legacy historically developed by the very sons and daughters of the Africa Diaspora.

    My motivation is historical and genetic to a land I have never seen, nor walked upon. The rest of the world is in a serious decline while Africa is beginning to come out of a steep one. Africa, as a continent, has the world’s second largest population and is still the world’s largest continent by land mass. It is also still among the world’s largest producer of precious minerals, strategic metals, and rare elements including uranium. It has untapped hydroelectric and sustainable renewable energy resources that can be exported and transmitted globally. If done properly, it can be the world’s largest exporter of agricultural goods. It certainly has the world’s largest amount of arable land for agricultural production.

    On a smaller scale, it will be the successful economic empowerment of the people that will make Africa a world leader because the heart of the people is what makes a nation stand united in all it diversity and strengths. Africa is tremendously diverse with all its native populations and history and that is her collective strength.

    Your leadership Harnet is desperately needed and I join you in this African renaissance. Yetshala Aderge!

  • I love the insights from this article. I can sum it by saying, “If not now, when? If not us, who? It is indeed time for Africans to rise to the occasion,

  • Sage Muhingu

    Well said, I live in Australia but I have started an agribusiness venture to help my family and employing few other friends. The problem is corruption though. I started with importing goods but lost a lot of money due to corruption in my country the DRC . When I did my research I realised agribusiness was better as I did not have to deals with corrupt customs officials. God bless you Dr Harnet

    • Dr. Harnet

      Dear Sage

      Thank you very much for your insights and yes, I absolutely agree and have suggested in one of my posts that you can mitigate the risk of corruption by working in industries that are less prone to corruption. And agriculture is one of them. Thanks again!

  • Ismail

    Wow! So interesting, so aspiring and so comprehensive. This article touched me so much. I’m glad Ronnie and see how fast we are now growing. Thank God imin too…… Thank Dr. Harnet, may God bless you and give strength to keep this up.


    • Dr. Harnet

      Thank you so much, Ismail!