Africa Outlook



If you could offer one piece of advice for a young entreprene­ur entering your industry, what would it be?

Xavier SaintMarti­n-Tillet

Head of West Africa Cluster, LafargeHol­cim Cote d’lvoire

“The constructi­on industry is going to experience changes during the coming years. Entreprene­urs need to come with ideas and innovation­s, not to replicate what was done in the past. LafargeHol­cim Côte d’Ivoire is ready to take on that challenge.”

Afel Amberber Marketing Manager, Habesha Breweries

“My advice would be to always be curious, challenge oneself and the status quo. Staying in the comfort zone and doing the usual norm in the industry will not make the entreprene­ur successful. It is important not to settle for ‘what it already is’ and remember to question and push the limits. Although there is a risk, the reward will be much higher.”

Karl Boyce CEO, ARC Power

“I think it is a very interestin­g sector to be in, particular­ly in Africa which has so much potential for solar. It certainly comes with its challenges though in terms of funding, regulatory processes and logistical planning.

Based on my own experience­s, I think tenacity, patience and agility are critical, but with the energy revolution happening in Africa, it’s a very exciting space to enter.”

Chuck Nwapa CEO, Plus Petroleum Ltd

“Believe in yourself and be patient. We were very patient. Even in 2013 when we first got into the industry and were navigating the numerous regulatory challenges, and not having any money, we quickly segued into downstream – just bringing in cargo from Lomé into tank, which is what a lot of the downstream traders do. We got our fingers burned very quickly. It took us back to why we started the business, which was to come in and solve a problem.

“So, one thing I’d say to any entreprene­ur entering this industry is be patient, believe in the problem you are coming in to solve, believe in the solution you are providing, and stay the course. Don’t get distracted by what you are seeing, don’t get distracted by any other sort of opportunit­ies, because this country and the world we live in now has a lot of external influences that can sway someone from their true calling. If you have these qualities, as well as the resilience to carry on, the sky is your limit.”

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