Sociocultural Analysis

How to use your Soft Power to Highlight the Sociocultural Aspect of your Business

The sociocultural aspect of doing business in Africa is very important. Sometimes, businesses only focus on the technical, operational, and profit-making side of their activities. They overlook the fact that doing business in Africa is mostly relationship-driven. Being relationship-driven means having awareness and understanding of the sociocultural elements that may determine the success of any business. Also, it is important to be careful about the recommendations of the international institutions regarding the restructuration of essential sectors that have an impact on the sociocultural stability of African countries.









The Bretton Woods Institutions—the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank among others—were created in 1944 to help restore and sustain the benefits of global integration, by promoting international economic cooperation. Despite many reform promises, the World Bank and the IMF, with the silent consent of the governments of rich countries, continues to use aid to force developing countries to apply inappropriate economic policies. These conditions hinder development, delay the disbursement of funds, and often have no positive impact on the poor populations. If the world wants to eradicate poverty, it is imperative that this practice end. Spending transparency and poverty reduction are the only conditions to attach to the aid, and nothing else (Source: Oxfam, 26 November 2006).

African businesspeople value relationships and are willing to take the time to build trust and establish a rapport with their partners. Many businesses have understood how to leverage their soft power and thrive in Africa. This soft power has focused on investing in the community to highlight the sociocultural aspect of their activities. A few examples:

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