Monday, June 8, 2009

How Corporate America Really Views Africa

The Conversation Behind Closed Doors

It is always good to know the attitude of U.S. investors on Asia and Africa, where most of the poor people live in the world.

Africa is the world’s second largest and second most populous continent after Asia, with a population nearing 1 billion. It accounts for 14% of the world’s population. More than 1000 languages are spoken across its 53 countries. In addition, Africa covers 20% of the world’s total land area and contains about 30% of its mineral reserves.

A qualitative survey was conducted by Baird’s CMC in partnership with U.S. Chamber of commerce with a group of 30 leading U.S. multinational corporations from which majority were among the U.S. Fortune 100 corporations. Following are some of the industries represented in the survey;

Agribusiness, Information and Communication Technology (ICT)Infrastructure, Media

The survey could reveal five main factors that influence the decision of U.S. corporations to invest in Africa;

Rule of law - rule of law does not prevail
Attraction - no sufficiently large middle class
Risk versus rewards - risk adjusted ROI
Supportive business framework - infrastructure ?
A welcoming environment - education and health of workforce

Going forward, how can Africa attract Foreign Direct Investments (FDI)? Can they follow Asia?

You may access the Executive Summary of the Complete Survey Report at

Courtesy: Baird’s CMC & U.S. Chamber of Commerce



  1. I do not think that Africa can just follow asia, but probably they can learn from asia.

  2. An inside-the-boardroom survey of attitudes toward corporate investment in Africa among leading U.S. corporations. The information was gathered between January and November 2008 in a series of closed door interviews with senior officers of 30 American Fortune 100 corporations by senior associates of Baird's CMC.