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Business in Africa Pays: Case Studies

We are in contact with some of the most successful British Africans who have emigrated to their hereditary homeland

Our free Case Study Membership enables you to read all of Business in Africa Pays’ interviews. Many of the people featured in our articles will be or have been speakers at one of our events. Be sure to check the details of our up-coming events if you’d like to meet one of these trailblazers in person.

More case studies are being prepared and will be on this site very soon.

Mariama Kamara – Social Entrepreneur

Mariama Kamara has become a pioneer for women saying ‘No’ to kerosene lamps in Sierra Leone. Here, she explains how her vision of bringing solar lights to the lives of people across her home country became not only a reality but also a successful business.

Approximately 1.6 billion people around the world have no access to electricity. Six hundred million of these people live in Africa. After the sun sets, they are forced to live in darkness. Many rely on kerosene lamps for light, often unaware of the devastating effects that they have on their health and safety, and that of their families. Mariama Kamara, a Sierra Leonean living in London, is part of a growing number of the Diaspora who want to see this change.

“Having worked in international development for seven years, I had always been interested in issues such as energy, education and issues relating to women and young people,” explains Kamara when asked why she initially decided to start up her business in Sierra Leone. “In 2011 I traveled there … and that’s when I decided to set up the company.” Click here to continue reading.

Kofi Ansah – Ghanaian Fashion Designer

Legendary Ghanaian fashion designer Kofi Ansah was gracious enough to lend us some of his time. In this article you can find how the late Ansah went from Savile Row tailor to leading Ghanaian fashion designer.

“I was a pioneer, so I was the one doing the mentoring,” explains Kofi Ansah, in response to a question on the mentors he looked to as he started his Artdress business.

“Having been born in Ghana originally, it was more of a desire to return home than a business decision,” he said. “However, my research taught me… Click here to continue reading.

The Birth of the Fitness Industry In Ghana

Nerys Adu Bonsra was entering an industry that barely existed in Ghana when she moved there two years ago. However here she explains that once one understands the differences between Africa and the Western world, being a pioneer in a relatively unknown industry can be surprisingly enjoyable.

Nerys Adu Bonsra was entering an industry that barely existed in Ghana when she moved there two years ago. However here she explains that once one understands the differences between Africa and the Western world, being a pioneer in a relatively unknown industry can be surprisingly enjoyable.

“There was a lot of scope for [it]”, explains Nerys when asked what convinced her that making the move to Ghana would work. “I thought it was a good idea… Click here to continue reading… By Daisy Swan-Capper

Blueskies: Bringing Ghana’s Fresh Fruit to the Masses

British entrepreneur Anthony Pile is passionate about processing Blue Skies’ fresh cut fruit in its country of origin: Ghana. In this interview Pile tells Business in Africa Pays how, with conviction to succeed, setting up business in Ghana can be easy and fun.

It began with an “entrepreneurial hunch,” explains Anthony Pile, when asked what convinced him of the idea to move to Ghana and set up business. He had a feeling “that the consumer wanted really fresh, freshly harvested, cut fruit.” Pile wasn’t wrong. With Blue Skies in Ghana now turning over £20 million a year and clients such as Sainsburys and Waitrose amongst its European retailers, it seems that his “hunch” was, in fact, right on the money.

“[I] had to get on with the idea,” Pile explains. “I had been fired from my last job. [I had] no money.” Nonetheless, moving to Ghana in December of 1996 would be a bold decision. “I started in Ghana. I felt very much on my own. [I didn’t get] a lot of help in the early days… Click here to continue reading… By Daisy Swan-Capper

Kenya – Technology Start-ups

Over the course of the next few case studies, Business in Africa Pays will be analysing an episode of “In Business” broadcast on Radio 4 on Thursday 26th December 2013. In the programme, Peter Day interviewed a number of tech entrepreneurs as well larger tech companies that are looking to solve brand new challenges being faced by people in Kenya.

In this section we will be looking at the part of the programme where Peter Day spoke to Sam Gichuru, co-founder and director at Nailab, a start-up hub that provides assistance to Kenyas that are looking to set up a business for the first time. We will then hear from Kate Kiguru of Ukall, creator of a personnel management system before hearing closing remarks from Will Mutua of Afrinnovator on whether this Kenyan revolution is all hype.

When Mr Gichuru was approached by someone asking to buy his business he said he found himself asking “why would they want to buy my business.” Here’s a transcript of the rest of the interview… Click here to read part one.

Kenya – Mobile Phone Revolution

Continuing our discussion of an episode of the BBC Radio 4 documentary “In Business” (broadcast on Thursday 26th December 2013,) we are now turning our attention to the main thrust of the programme, where Peter Day investigated the radical changes occuring in the Kenyan mobile phone sector.

We’ll start with the section where Peter Day spoke to Bob Collymore, chief executive of Safaricom. Here, Mr Collymore discussed the the success of their M-Pesa mobile money system.

“M-Pesa enables people to send cash via text messaging.” Mr Collymore explained to Peter, “To put money into your M-Pesa account, you must go to an M-Pesa agent, you give them a thousand and they put it in your account. You can use it to buy credit for your phone or send credit to someone else.”

“Now, this thing is carrying something like 30% of the country’s GDP. We have more than 2m transactions every day. We have 17m Kenyans who are using this system and given that we have only have 20m adults in Kenya, it’s a sizable chunk.” Click here to read part two of our analysis of BBC documentary “In Business”.