It is easy to overestimate the characteristics and severity of risks when it pertains to an unfamiliar and a largely unchartered terrain. Africa is no exception to this in relation to international private capital flows – particularly when charting foreign direct investment opportunities. A common misconception is that Africa is a large singular entity – a giant country with uniformly applicable laws, cultures and conditions. On the contrary, Africa is a continent comprising of 54 countries and territories, with diverse and distinct socio- economic and political environments. Africa consists of sovereign states that range from countries that enjoy political stability, well-rounded economies and robust infrastructure, to countries that are politically unstable and destabilized by ethnic tension and clashes. Africa’s governing structures range from free market democracies to autocratic dictatorships, and either side of the spectrum is susceptible to varying levels of political unrest, crime and widespread corruption. Allowing these risks to serve as a deterrent to doing business in Africa is a myopic view of an unfamiliar terrain.

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