An investment plan is an image reflection of the investor’s mind and heart. Truly successful investors focus on the long term view. They measure the success of their investment plans by not losing sight of the forest for the tree. This principle is especially applicable in the continent of Africa where some local and foreign investors have had the tendency to lose sight of a forest (impact of mobile telecommunications in a region like Economic Community of West African States [ECOWAS]) for a tree (resale of Blackberry phones in a country like Nigeria).
For example, one country-specific investment in your portfolio may be performing well in the short term (reselling old phones in Nigeria) while adding to a region-specific problem (rising electronic waste from old phones in West Africa- see here). In due time, this region-specific problem may end up derailing your investment altogether (ECOWAS makes growing commitments to advance environmental policy – see here)
Your investment in Africa will succeed if you take the long term view of the triple bottom line: people, planet, and profit.
1. You love your business partners.
Successful business management is the appreciation and organization of different personalities in order to deliver a desired business outcome. How do you plan to express your appreciation to the stakeholders of your investment plan – the founders, the suppliers, the employees, and yes, each of their families? In life (and in business), it’s just simpler to succeed with people that you love. Do you invest the time to get to know your business partners? Do you think you would have a better chance at success if your business partners got to know you? Do unto others as you’d have them do unto you. This rule is not only the Golden Rule of life, it is also pure gold for any investment opportunity in Africa.