The experience of South African firms doing business in Africa: a preliminary survey and analysis

"A key challenge for Africa in the 21st century is to develop an enabling business environment. This is a clear objective of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (Nepad). Business, it is presumed, can provide the necessary impetus to unlock Africa's vast economic potential, allowing it to engage successfully with its many developmental challenges. The experience of South African companies in the rest of Africa provides an important focus to highlight both the problems and challenges of these markets as well as the potential solutions. South African business and investment on the continent is growing apace, diversifying from the traditional business of contracts in construction, mining, vehicle components, timber and steel into a variety of businesses. These include skills training, education, IT and telecommunications, clinics and health care, franchising, advertising, property development and waste management.These developments make an examination of the role being played by South Africa, and particularly its business community, important to the unfolding picture of trade and investment in Africa. This report is a preliminary study of the experience of a range of South African companies that are doing business in Africa. It looks briefly at four sectors and four countries, not necessarily linked. The sectors are: Banking; Telecommunications; Retail and Food; and Mining. The countries are Morocco, Ghana, Mozambique and Uganda."