International Business Development in Africa

International Business Development in Africa

Africa is the world’s second largest and second most populous continent, comprising more than 54 countries. With a population of over 1 billion, it is attractive for any investor. Being successful in these markets requires insight into the languages, cultures, government bureaucracy, regulations, type of innovative technologies and workforce of each country. Every one is different, and this makes it very difficult to use the same recipe for any two countries.  There may be similarities in the regions but inside information is still required.  Read more

Funding Bioentrepreneurs in South Africa

Funding Bioentrepreneurs in South Africa

Many business-minded individuals and young entrepreneurs who cannot find jobs in the public sector are now creating their own small enterprises. Bioentrepreneurs in South Africa have a vast avenue to seek funds for their innovative projects. Besides commercial banks, there are government agencies such as the Development Bank of South Africa job fund, the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA), Industrial Development Cooperation (IDC), Growth Fund and Enablis Khula Loan Fund. South Africa’s ZAR9 billion (US$1.3 billion) Jobs Fund recently announced by Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan in his budget vote plans to create 150,000 jobs over the next three years. The fund  … Read more

South Africa’s TIA plans

South Africa's TIA plans

In my earlier post, I talked about how TIA came into being. Now I want to talk about what it does. In 2007, the new Department of Science and Technology (DST) carried out an audit of its activities and achievements, and used the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to do this. The results showed a lack of focus, thinly spread human resources, lack of an appropriate intellectual property regime, lack of long-term planning instruments, narrow definition of innovation, fragmentation of instruments and the existence of the “innovation chasm,” otherwise known as the “valley of death.” In response to  … Read more

The South African government, biotech and growth

South Africa is a country with so much untapped potential. Critics said South Africa would not be able to host the 2010 Soccer World Cup. After one of the most successful football spectaculars the world has ever seen, Spain left with the cup and the country now boasts formidable infrastructures and has exported vuvuzelas to the rest of the world. This shows that South Africa can deliver if its government and people are completely committed to a cause. The challenge now is to transfer this commitment, energy and enthusiasm to address other priorities of the country, such as poverty, unemployment, food security and the burden of diseases like TB and HIV/AIDS.  Read more