Enterprise Resource Planning Blogs by SAP
Get insights and updates about cloud ERP and RISE with SAP, SAP S/4HANA and SAP S/4HANA Cloud, and more enterprise management capabilities with SAP blog posts.
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Former Member
0 Kudos

The business environment in Francophone Africa differs from that of the rest of Africa, but companies can address the unique challenges of the region through selected ERM solutions.

Investors are increasingly turning toward Africa as an exciting destination in which to funnel their capital. However, not all African nations are created equal. The modes of doing business can differ significantly from region to region. 

Anyone wishing to invest in Francophone Africa should be aware of the challenges that typify those nations’ business environments. An approach specific to French-speaking Africa is necessary when setting up business network infrastructures. Here are five ways to overcome challenges unique to Francophone nations.

Risk Management


The legal and regulatory frameworks applicable to the many countries that make up the French speaking nations of Africa can present unique difficulties even to experienced investors. The legal environment differs greatly from country to country, something which makes compliance a chore. In addition, these nations can often present significant investment risks because of infrastructure and stability challenges.


With specialised software aimed at governance, risk and compliance, companies can take the uncertainty out of operating in unfamiliar new markets. They can embed risk and compliance activities into strategy, planning, and execution, all while reducing costs and protecting revenue streams and brand reputation.



Many companies often underestimate the stumbling blocks linguistic and cultural differences can present when trying to establish themselves in Francophone Africa. Importing workers who speak the language is often inadequate. Investors need to familiarise themselves with the various cultures of business and the nuances that outsiders might not necessarily get. In addition, legal agreements and concessions must be in French as these always
supersede their English counterparts in legality.


Local partnerships are imperative in such an environment. Companies need to establish in-depth levels of cooperation with local players and experts. Cloud technologies have been shown to enable unmatched levels of collaborative environments, making culture shock a thing of the past. 

Human Resources


Finding the right human talent is also essential to overcoming linguistic and cultural barriers. However, with many of the most educated minds in Africa often are leaving the continent to study and work abroad, this is not easy.


Human Resource Management software thankfully simplifies the process of finding, attracting and keeping the right people who understand the idiosyncrasies of the different business environments. These solutions allow for the establishment of an employee-centric workplace environment that
increases productivity, automates administrative processes, and facilitates training. Employees are empowered to do their best work at all times. 

Customer Service

The biggest sources of revenue in French-speaking Africa have traditionally been mining and oil companies. A notable trend in other resource-reliant parts of Africa is the increasing emphasis on consumer industries alongside more resource-based economic activities. 

Investors interested in Francophone Africa would do well to take advantage of this relatively underdeveloped market and establish themselves early as leaders. One of the ways they can do this by implementing customer-centric strategies using CRM software. Tools like data analytics provide customer insight and the improved responsiveness that organisations enjoy mean that companies can develop and solidify customer loyalty. 


Growth in French-speaking Africa has lagged compared to English and Portuguese nations. Francophone countries account for only 19 percent of sub-Saharan Africa’s average GDP and register an average growth rate of 3.4 percent, a few digits lower than the primarily English-speaking nations of East Africa.


With the speed and adaptability bestowed by today’s super-powered ERP solutions, companies can streamline their operations enough that they can focus on growth. One of the ways in which management solutions facilitate growth is by allowing for the introduction of new revenue streams. The levels of collaboration, flexibility and productivity that ERP-powered companies enjoy allow for levels of customer engagement that make implementing new products and services easy.

These are just some of the ways in which enterprise management solutions could have a major part to play in French-speaking Africa’s business environment. Businesses need to carefully study the country in which they will be operating and choose the complementary technological solutions.