Abdalla Al-Baalawy – Investing in Africa has been one of the trendiest topics of discussion in the business community. American, Chinese, European, Indian, Brazilian (just to name a few) businesses and investors have been increasing their portfolios in Africa.
Although this interest in Africa is positive, investors flocking to the last frontier sometimes lack the ability, or do not even have the intention of including the citizens of the area where the investment is taking place. Investors should always have at the top of their agenda, after making a return (profit), the need to make the investment beneficial for the locals as well. Investing with Africa, instead of just in Africa will bring much larger returns.
Ernesto Sirolli says in his talk he gave about his experience working in Africa, Want to help someone? Shut up and listen! Participation has been an integral part of contemporary poverty-reduction initiatives being done by non-for-profit groups. Participation has allowed these projects to be more accepted by the locals and thus, have more success.
The business (for-profit) community can learn this lesson and increase participation by locals in their investments so they can have more success (and more profits).