An Oil Giant Reforms: The Experience of South African Firms Doing Business in Nigeria

Image: Flickr, CIFOR
Image: Flickr, CIFOR

In the rush for markets into the rest of Africa after the country's 1994 democratic elections, South African companies did not regard Nigeria as a most favoured destination.

However, it was not long before South African companies recognised that despite the perceived difficulties of the country, Nigeria was a market to be reckoned with. This report is based on a series of interviews conducted both in Nigeria and South Africa over several months in 2004. Twenty-two companies were interviewed in both countries. The study identifies some of the pitfalls associated with doing business in Nigeria, as well as the advantages of entering sub-Saharan Africa’s most populous state and second-largest economy.

The three-year Business in Africa research project was funded by the Danish government. The project focused on the South African business experiences in a range of African countries, hoping to draw lessons to feed into the broader policy debates around Nepad and the role of business in the development of Africa.

It interacted extensively with South African and African business and hopes to provide a platform for better business access to governments across the continent and for enhanced networking opportunities among businesses in Africa. The main objective of the project was to develop policy recommendations on creating a sustainable business environment on the continent. Neuma Grobbelaar headed the project, and Hany Besada was the project’s researcher.

17 Apr 2004