Open Seminar

Doing Business in Africa

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Programme snapshot

  • Date: 12th February, 2024 - 14th February, 2024
  • Fee: $6200
  • Location: Henley Business School, Reading United Kingdom
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Africa is home to six of the top ten fastest-growing economies in the world and US exports to sub-Saharan Africa now top $21 billion a year. Executives desiring to expand their business into other parts of Africa grapple with a host of challenges such as the diversity in the contexts, cultures, regulatory systems, macroeconomics, and other variables.

The African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCTA), which aims to connect 55 countries, creating a market of 1.3 billion people estimated to be over $3 trillion, aims to enhance the attractiveness and competitiveness of African countries by creating opportunities for African and Non-African businesses in areas such as manufacturing, agriculture, services, and e-commerce. AfCFTA is expected to deliver greater market opportunities, more trade, increased investment, and value addition ultimately resulting in higher levels of productivity and growth. The full benefits of AfCFTA will come when African states make the required investments in trade enablers and businesses enhance their strategies and approach to execution in the continent. It is now very important that executives of international organizations better understand the structure, nature, and approaches to doing business in Africa.

This course aims to provide executives with an overview of the most critical aspects of doing business in Africa. This will enhance their overall understanding of the structure and nature of the economies in the continent and also equip them with the skills and tools they shall require in developing effective strategies for establishing a business in Africa or bringing already established foreign businesses to Africa.

The course provides an in-depth understanding of how business enterprises in the African region operate and the business strategies required to effectively work with African partners.

Learning Objectives and Benefits

  • An understanding of Africa’s business context and institutions
  • An exploration of strategies and organizational models applicable in Africa
  • An assessment of the balance between cultural differences, national governments, and the global perspectives of firms
  • Strategies that can aid companies adapt their local home country strategy to the needs and peculiarities of the consumers they are targeting in the new African countries

Who should attend

  • International executives of non-African companies who are desirous of establishing a presence in Africa or expanding their businesses to Africa.
  • Senior executives and leaders in organizations who have been assigned to work in international locations of their local companies within Africa.
  • CEOs and owners who are desirous of taking their businesses internationally to African countries and beyond.

Structure and Curriculum

  • Day 1 – Macroeconomic, Social, and Political Environments in Africa

The African economy today is at best described as being volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous. It has become very important for leaders to understand the various economic, social, political, legal, technological, and environmental drivers of change in the continent. Day 1 focuses on the core drivers of economic activity, the landscape of the continent’s economy, and the influence of political factors in shaping the economy. The myriad of business risks associated with the context will also be discussed in depth in addition to how to assess, cost and mitigate these associated risks of doing business in Africa. This session would have thoroughly explored the challenges as well as key opportunities on the continent using conceptual discussions, reflection and case studies.


  • Day 2 – Developing effective business strategies in African markets

Day 2 will equip participants with the tools, skills, and frameworks to craft effective organizational, sales, and marketing strategies. It will enable participants to understand the African market, how to allocate resources, measure performance, manage risk, and execute strategy. This will include exploring the typical challenges that impede and derail execution and learn how to design systems and structures that help to overcome the challenge of turning strategy into action. Participants will also be equipped with insights into the peculiarities and characteristics of the African consumer, routes to market, promotions, and channels for accessing African markets and consumers. It shall also equip them with the skills they require to close deals in Africa that might otherwise fail, enhance value in the agreements they reach, and resolve differences before they result in costly conflicts.


  • Day 3 – Managing People and Key Stakeholders in Africa

 Day 3 will focus on Human Resource Management in Africa. It will equip participants with the skills, strategies, and tools to lead organizations in Africa as well as to integrate with cultural norms. Different HRM models will be critically evaluated including how to attract and retain talent as well as people management strategies to maximize their productivity. Participants shall also learn how to define a direction, influence other leaders in the organization, attain organizational alignment, and manage change. This includes corporate governance in Africa from multiple lenses – The board of directors, senior management, investors, the media, regulators, and other stakeholders.


  • Day 4 – Ethics, Compliance, and Social Responsibility in Africa

Leadership in Africa requires that leaders understand how the success of their organizations is connected to the broader ethical and social issues on the continent. Leaders must also recognize that sustainable economic growth is not possible without considering the needs and demands of the broader society. This session will expose participants to the broad ethical issues that characterize doing business in Africa and shall also provide a framework for doing business ethically.  Besides this, participants will be equipped with the tools and frameworks they require to design, install and begin to run a compliance management system for their African business or to review the existing system and put in place further preventive measures to minimize the organization’s exposure to compliance and legal risk. It will also show participants how to interact with regulators, supervisors, and other stakeholders.

Admission process


Dr. Nkemdilim Iheanachor

Dr. Nkemdilim Iheanachor is a member of Strategy Group in Lagos Business School at the Lagos Business School where he serves as the Academic Director in the Senior Management Programme as well as a course director in several degree and executive programmes in the School. He is also a visiting professor on the MBA programme in University of Stellenbosch’s Business School, Cape town, South Africa

His research and consulting interests are those factors leading to the increased competitiveness of firms, industries, regions, and nations. He has attended fellowships and faculty development programmes at Harvard Business School, Wharton Business School and Robinson College of Business all in the United States of America. He has also extensively presented his work in international professional and academic conferences in the United States, Italy, Switzerland, Portugal, South Africa, Ghana, Spain, Kenya, and Rwanda to mention a few.

He has had prior experience in Banking as a Relationship Manager in the Multilateral, Conglomerates, and Private Banking group of Zenith Bank, as an Investment Banker where he was involved in Project Finance, Mergers and Acquisitions, and financial advisory engagements, and as a Consultant where he was involved in business advisory engagements for large multinationals and local corporates.

In the last ten years, he has consulted for well over one hundred private and public sector organizations as well as governments in industries such as pensions, commercial banking, telecommunications, consumer markets, and retail all around Africa. Nkemdilim has extensively consulted in the areas such as Growth transformation, Strategy execution, Corporate Restructuring, Foreign subsidiary establishment, Corporate Strategy Development, Competitive Strategy Development, and Blue Ocean Strategy Development. He has also been involved in several leadership development courses for companies across a wide span of industries in areas like leadership, organizational behaviour and human resource management, strategy, change management, relationship marketing, and customer service excellence. He currently sits on the board of several private sector organizations and also serves as a strategy mentor to several CEOs and top corporates.

Professor Chris Ogbechie

Chris Ogbechie is a Professor of Strategic Management and the Dean at Lagos Business School, Pan-Atlantic University. He is also a visiting professor at Strathmore Business School, Nairobi, Kenya.

Professor Ogbechie has a first-class honours degree in Mechanical Engineering from Manchester University, an MBA from Manchester Business School and a PhD in Business Administration from Brunel Business School in the UK.

On January 1, 2021, he became the fourth dean of Lagos Business School where he has responsibility for setting the strategic direction for the School, as well as overseeing all academic and administrative matters.

He has vast experience in marketing, strategy and corporate governance derived from his work as Head of Marketing/Sales at Nestle Nigeria and his consulting work with Nigerian, Ghanaian and Kenyan firms over the years. While in Nestle, he held international positions in Malaysia, Singapore and Switzerland.

Professor Ogbechie teaches strategy, sustainability and corporate governance at the Lagos Business School and Strathmore Business in Nairobi, Kenya; he is also the founding Director of the School’s Sustainability Centre. His research interests are in strategy in turbulent environments, strategic leadership, board effectiveness, and corporate sustainability. Professor Ogbechie has been involved with several start-ups. He was Chairman, Board of Directors, Diamond Bank Plc and is on the board of several private and public companies including; Red Star Express Plc (FedEx), and National Salt Company of Nigeria Plc. (NASCON), Health Partners and Palton Morgan Holdings.

He has several publications in financial services marketing, strategic planning, corporate social responsibility and corporate governance. His first book “Strategic Marketing of Financial Services in Nigeria” (2011) provides essential information for marketing practitioners, especially in the financial services sector, for improving the effectiveness of their marketing. His second book “Re-engineering the Nigerian Society through Social Marketing” (2012) is his contribution towards changing societal values in a positive way.

Professor Ogbechie has penned several journal papers on corporate governance and sustainability notably: ‘How Large is Too Large and How Small is Too Small? Exploring Kuznets Inverted-U Relationship and Optimal Board Size in Nigeria Company Boards.’ International Journal of Business and General Management, ‘Corporate Social Responsibility in SMEs: A Shift from Philanthropy to Institutional Works?’ Journal of Business Ethics and ‘Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in Nigeria: Western Mimicry or Indigenous Practices?’ Journal of Corporate Citizenship.

He has also presented various papers on corporate governance at international conferences. His paper “Corporate Governance Practices of Publicly Quoted Companies in Nigeria” is published in the International Journal of Business Governance and Ethics. And his journal article “Board Characteristics and Involvement in Strategic Decision Making: The Nigerian Perspective” is included in Emerald’s peer-reviewed reading list of quality journal articles and book chapters. Besides teaching and researching, he is involved in community service and philanthropy.

Mr Olu Onakoya

Olu Onakoya won a Federal Government of Nigeria scholarship to study chemical engineering at the University of Leeds, England and qualified in 1976. He subsequently joined Mobil Oil Nigeria plc in 1977 as an Engineering Trainee. He had a varied career involving assignments in Terminal operations, lubricants, plastic container and insecticide manufacturing, corporate planning, building construction, facilities management, human resources, marketing and business leadership.

In 1992 he became the first Nigerian to win the Mobil Oil Nigeria Chairman’s award for excellence due to his stewardship of the world class Mobil Head Office and Residential development in Lekki, Victoria Island, Lagos. He went on to win a quality award from Mobil Corporation in 1993 for his work on the same facilities. In October 1997, after an outstanding performance in assignments with Mobil Corporation at corporate headquarters in Fairfax, Virginia and Los Angeles, U.S.A., he was appointed Marketing Director, Mobil Oil Nigeria.

In January 2000, he was appointed General Manager, Mobil Oil East Africa, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from where he moved to Accra in December 2001 as Chairman/Managing Director, Mobil Oil Ghana.

In August 2003, Olu moved to Harare as the Chairman/Managing Director of Mobil Oil Zimbabwe. On April 1, 2004 Olu Onakoya became the Chairman/Managing Director of Mobil Oil Nigeria plc. By this appointment, he became the first Nigerian to head the multinational Company since its inception in 1907. He retired voluntarily in October 2008 after 31 years of service.

Dr Ikechukwu Kelikume

Dr Ikechukwu Kelikume leads sessions in the Microeconomic, Macroeconomic Environment of Business and Agribusiness at Lagos Business School. He obtained his doctoral degree in Economics from the Swiss Management Center (SMC University, Switzerland). An economist with over 22 years of teaching experience in training and facilitating learning across three universities-Covenant University, University of Benin, and Lagos Business School.

His research interests are in Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, Econometrics, Agriculture and Agribusiness, especially as they relate with the Nigerian and African experience in addressing the food crisis in Africa.  He is currently the Director of the Lagos Business School Agribusiness Management programme at LBS.


In addition to teaching, he engages in consulting activities. His consulting activities have included assignments for the World Bank, United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Center for Management and Development (CMD) and the Nigerian Economic Summit Group.

His research works have been published in some of the most respected academic journals, including the Journal of Business Research (JBR), Journal of Developing Area (JDA) and the International Journal of Management, Economics and Social Sciences (IJMESS). He is the current President of Pan-Atlantic University Cooperative Multipurpose Association.

He is also actively engaged in consulting in the Oil and Gas sector with Techno Oil, Total Nigeria, Exxon Mobil. In addition, he is chair of the Oil Palm Committee constituted by the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) to see the optimal functioning of privatized State-Owned Oil Enterprises. Also, he is the president of the Pan Atlantic University Multipurpose Cooperative Society.

Three Words to Describe Kelikume: Industrious, Creative and Passionate. His hobbies are reading, teaching, and farming. He is married with children.




Upcoming Sessions and Contact

For more information, Kindly call Oluwakemi on +234 808 672 6686 or send an email to

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Send us a quick message, stating your questions or concerns about this programme and expect a response in a few minutes.

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