Sarit Center, Nairobi
Oct 9-12, 2024

Author name: Stephen Kimani

culture and business

The Role of Culture in Doing Business In Africa

When we mention Africa, we immediately think of its culture and richness. Africa is culturally rich, with 54 countries and more than 3,000 spoken languages. Countries with more than 200 languages, such as the Democratic Republic of Congo, make it difficult to imagine how they communicate. This culture, while lively, colorful, and proud of the African people, does play a role in commerce. Let’s look at how cultural differences affect African and global economies. First and foremost, what is culture? According to the Oxford Dictionary, culture is the set of practices, social beliefs, and ideas that people and society share. So, how do these views influence businesses and the economy as a whole? Formal business activities in Africa can be traced back to societies such as the Egyptians, and with colonization came a revolution. Because of cultural differences, the region’s economic structure has shifted, with some leaning toward capitalism and others toward socialism. The cultural substrate is the source of several factors, including: Business culture  Doing business in Africa necessitates a deep understanding of the local cultures. Some cultures may frown on the sale of certain products, causing a company that specializes in them to suffer losses. Furthermore, the corporate structure and customs may need to change to adapt to the African culture. e.g., the 24-hour business model may not function in many African regions. Social culture  Many people have recently abandoned their traditional values in favor of industrialization and digital culture. This degradation of African morals and values has resulted in the success of some enterprises and the failure of others. Building relationships Understanding people’s thinking styles allows you to connect with them. When doing business on the continent, it is critical to consider things from an African perspective. Most thriving firms in Africa have created relationships based on the consumer’s culture. This increases the marketability of the business and makes scaling easier. Finally, doing business in Africa provides tremendous opportunities for development and expansion. However, this necessitates a thorough understanding of emerging trends and the ability to overcome the continent’s unique challenges. Businesses should position themselves for success by embracing cultural diversity, building strong alliances, adapting to digital transformation, and making good use of Africa’s natural resources and consumers.

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