Success in Africa: CEO Insights From a Continent on the Rise

This breezy, upbeat appraisal of the merits of Africa’s private sector and its boundless potential to spearhead growth would have been unthinkable a decade ago. The prose sometimes descends into generic M.B.A.-speak, but Berman produces real insight by giving voice to African entrepreneurs themselves, through lengthy quotations. His interlocutors represent a new class of risk-taking businesspeople who benefit from the region’s newly investor-friendly business climate. Berman does not offer analyses of particular sectors -- he barely mentions manufacturing or commodities such as oil and gold -- and he makes few meaningful distinctions among the region’s 54 countries. Instead, he chronicles individual companies that have enjoyed success by entering expanding markets, capitalizing on local knowledge, and demonstrating resilience. This might sound like an obvious recipe for success. But why, then, did so few experts anticipate the current boom?

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