With globalisation a key topic among today’s top Business Leaders, companies that are exploring developing markets are increasingly turning towards Africa. However, with misinformation and stereotypes abounding, many are at a loss as to whether or not they should move onto the continent. Pushing aside these and trying to offer an unbiased, educated guide to investing in Africa is Mark Byron’s Africa Arrives. To explore the points made in the book, MEA Markets’ Staff Writer Hannah Stevenson reviews it and gives her thoughts on its place on your bookshelf.
Africa is a vast, varied and vivacious land, filled with a myriad of opportunities: from mining through to tourism, there is something for an investor in almost every market throughout this stunning continent.
Despite this, the region is viewed by many as an emerging market, with a number of its countries suffering from political problems, technological drawbacks, staffing issues etc. However, as Mark Byron and Robert Jospeh Ahola showcase in their powerful new book, Africa Arrives: The Savvy Entrepreneur’s Guide To The World’s Hottest Market, there is much to be gained from entering into or increasing investment in the continent’s flourishing corporate landscape.
Mostly autobiographical, Byron gives an account of his own personal love affair with the continent and showcases his vast knowledge of the region and its opportunities. There is something for everyone across Africa, and Byron, whilst focusing on Nigeria, where he spent much of his childhood, showcases a great deal from across the region.
Unfortunately, the book is peppered with inconsistencies: whilst Byron desperately makes the case for readers not to judge Africa by unsubstantiated preconceptions, he makes a number of his own, such as when he insists on page 12 that gangs and drug lords in other countries are worse than war torn African countries, which is a matter of opinion, as none are positive. He also states on page 4 that ‘America’s under 30’s are notoriously clueless where the rest of the world is concerned’, in a completely un-ironic way. Whilst trying to tear down stereotypes and misconceptions, Byron is actually pandering to them and enforcing them himself.
Overall, although greatly informed on Africa and the business opportunities therein, Africa Arrives is let-down by Byron’s informal style, which makes the book more unprofessional than approachable, as was probably the intention. There is information to be gleaned from the book, but those seeking an informed, unbiased account of the continent as a whole should look elsewhere. Those simply seeking knowledge will enjoy this informal exploration of Africa and the many benefits the region offers.
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