By A Bedoh
For centuries Africa continue to make the headlines with unpredictable stories of political instabilities, poverty and wars.
However, majority of African countries have overcome that challenge and are creating the enabling environment for businesses to thrive.
Africa is becoming a major platform for international investments and contrary to fears that the continent is unprintable, international investors already doing business in the continent are making positive returns and are themselves becoming ambassadors promoting the many unexploited prospects in the continent.
The communications sector, entertainment, tourism and hospitality businesses are fast becoming the beacon of Africa’s flagship, indicating a positive trend in the continent’s business growth.
A 2015 report by the World Bank states that ”The commodities boom may be over, but sub-Saharan Africa is still experiencing growth, a remarkable fact considering that the continent is a net exporter of primary commodities. By adopting sound macroeconomic policies over the past two decades and sector reforms, many African economies have already shown that they can sustain a trajectory of economic growth and beat the “resource curse.”
The shift in the investment trend can be linked to the political will being shown by African governments, through the ratification of policies that are now addressing the challenges affecting transparency and accountability in governance, the public and private sectors.
The thriving democracies, though in their teething stages, and the level of young people’s awareness about national issues and their active participation in governance and civil society, are indicative of a continent that is ready and willing to step along the pathway for development.
The days of dictators are over and Africans now know better than to allow tribalism and nepotism to hold them to ransom because the potential for growth are abound with an untapped youth population that is willing and able to complement the efforts of investors to make Africa a better place for business.
But then while this platform is being prepared for secured and sustainable investment ventures, prospective investors should also understand that Africa is a continent with thousands of tribes, tradition and cultures and thus knowing and understanding this fact is vital for business ventures.
The mistake by some investors to rely only on government insiders or individuals for their operations have cost them tremendously.
Investors should always engage their embassies abroad for guidance not to fall in the hands of wrong people, because information available with the embassies could best guide them on what measures they should take to be successful and be at peace with the people.
It’s in the best interest of investors to know the country’s culture and traditional makeup, the right of land ownership and government policies.
Over the years, African governments failed to communicate with the people they are supposed to represent and creating suspicion on the part of the people to distrust the investors and government.
This failure by governments has been one of the pin pricks causing the unpredictability of the people of Africa, who believe they deserve respect and should get what’s due them.
But things are gradually changing and the light is shining towards Africa.
The African Union is also making it possible for African countries to open up for investment through agreements that are now making it easier for investors to thrive.
However, while I am optimistic the future is bright, I am of the view that measures should be taken to address the barbaric acts of Al Shabab in Somalia, Boko Haram in Nigeria and other countries whose people are senselessly distabilised by religions fanatics.
The African Union and governments, the support of Democratic countries and meaningful investors will make this possible.
And actions are being taking because Africa is ready for investors and will not allow the old stories to haunt her.
Have you ever think about investing in Africa? Don’t hesitate, the opportunities are many, but engage your consulates and then the governments so that you can know how best to know the country and the people for better sustainable business venture.