An edited version of this article appeared in the daily weekday ed of Business Day (South Africa) on 18/10/2021:
There has been a flurry of activity by South African companies on the continent recently. From Vodacom’s successful bid as minority partner for the Ethiopian telecommunications license to the Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) between South African Airlines (SAA) and Kenyan Airways (KQ) that is intended to sow the seed for a pan-African airline. In fact, South African companies have made great inroads into Africa over the last two decades or so and seem to dominate the African business space. According to a 2018 report by the Boston Consulting Group, South African companies make up 32 out of the 75 African multinationals active on the continent. And according to a recent 2021 fDi Intelligence report, a leading research agency and a division of the Financial Times, South Africa is the second biggest investor on the continent from Africa or the Middle East, behind only the UAE.
But there is another side to this unquestionable success, one punctuated by regular missteps and blunders that have been repeated to the great detriment of a significant number of South African companies in Africa.Continue reading “Failure shows SA Companies should reconsider African strategy”