Afrique21.tv logo
Subscribe to the Afrique21.tv newsletter




 
Favoris et Partage

In this programme we’re going to focus on setting up a company in Francophone Africa, and particularly in the West, in the Ivory Coast and Senegal. A team of experts and entrepreneurs who live and work there will be giving us some advice.
But first of all, let’s get rid of any preconceived ideas that suggest that this part of the continent is a risk area:

Kevin Rivation – about the risks in WA
In the Ivory Coast, where we’re established, although the Ivorian government needs to reassure investors after the mutinies in late 2016-early 2017, the country can be considered to be extremely favourable to investors. Senegal is also very favourable for development investment.

That being said, we should highlight one of the key advantages of Francophone Africa for a French entrepreneur and, more specifically, the OHADA region, which is made up of 17 African countries:

Marc Sage
In Francophone Africa there’s a certain familiarity about the law, because 90% of it is what a French, Polish or even Russian entrepreneur would find in his own legal system, i.e. codified law: Civil Code, Commercial Code and all the codes and all the legislative and regulatory texts that have been introduced as part of OHADA are very similar to the legislative and regulatory texts applied to companies in France, Eastern Europe and even Russia.

While OHADA has facilitated many aspects of business in Francophone Africa, it must be said that certain difficulties remain

Benita KINDONGO
There are many difficulties facing French companies in Africa. Firstly, there may be some difference between legal theory and practice. OHADA law has brought uniformity to a wide range of legal regulations, but there are still a number of local practices, even inside the country. I think that’s the greatest difficulty facing French companies in Francophone Africa.

Africa is fashionable, there’s a very high rate of growth and everyone sees it as the continent of the future, so you’ll need to consider the local business climate, particularly in Senegal, if you’re looking to set up business there.

Abdoulaye M’Bodj
I’m not exaggerating when I say that the business climate in Senegal is of international class. The Senegalese authorities have decided that that is their aim, and 57 reforms have been put in place since 2006; most of them are now showing results. The Emergent Senegal Plan alone listed around 17 reforms and all of them have been put in place in collaboration with the private sector. Among the most important of these are the investment code, which has been improved to allow companies to enjoy a lot of facilities and advantages, the customs code, the mining code and land reform, in which companies that wish to use land can do so without any difficulty. So, a lot of reforms that have meant that Senegal now has a Business Code of international standard.

A business climate which, as we’ll see, is just as positive in the Ivory Coast

Thomas Chalumeau
In the Ivory Coast, the business climate has improved significantly in the last few years, as we can see from the various components involved: the ability to set up a local company, protection for minority investors, the ability to buy land terrain, the time allowed to erect buildings or build a head office, taxation and fiscal and legal rules. All of these mean that the IC has made a great deal of progress; it has made the business climate a government policy priority, to the great satisfaction of French and European investors.

A number of sectors are also booming in the region, such as ICT, Agriculture and building/public works, but there’s also considerable scope for action over the short term …

Etienne Giros
I think I would advise French companies and entrepreneurs looking to set up in Africa to examine a certain number of sectors. There’s obviously more than one: but the first question I would ask them is: do they have a good product, a good idea or a sound knowledge base? If the answer is “yes”, I think that the first sector to look at is the cities: Africa is about to face a demographic explosion and a level of urban development that the human era has not seen before, so answers need to be found for dealing with waste treatment, electrification, water treatment, housing construction, traffic routes, etc. and the French have a lot of knowledge in those areas. So, that’s the first sector, the Smart City, the green city, the clean city, etc. It concerns a large number of professions – architects, town planners, technicians, water engineers, etc. The scope is vast.

These countries have obviously made an effort to make life easier for companies looking to establish themselves locally and for entrepreneurs to set up their company. Apart from the fact that the existing types of companies are virtually the same as in France, with SARL, SAS, SA, etc., there are also other facilities, including those offered by the one-stop services that allow you to set up your organisation in less than 24 hours…as long as you have all the required documents. Which leads us into a word about relations with the administrative authorities…

Nicolas KOCZOROWSKI
Relations with the administrative authorities are pretty good; once again, there has been a real administrative reorganisation with the aim of promoting smoother relations between private investors and the administrative authorities to facilitate the enterprise spirit and make it easier to bring projects to fruition. There are obviously still things to be done to make life even better, but there’s been a real evolution, and this has generally made relations with the administrative authorities relatively pleasant and simple.

So, this part of Africa offers real potential for entrepreneurs, but one essential piece of advice should not be forgotten…

Ronan Luven
First of all, you have to love Africa; if you don’t like Africa, don’t go there, frankly, because it won’t be good for either you or your company, or for business in general, and your contacts will soon find you out. So, you need to take an interest in what’s going on in terms of culture in Abidjan: music, reggae, painting or social events that may take place in the evening or at the weekend. You need to be prepared to integrate, even if you don’t live there, there’s a head office there, and that sets the tone. So, it’s an essential point: if you’re not particularly attracted to an African country and you see it as an under-developed country but you’re nevertheless going to go out there to do business… don’t go.

In conclusion, and to echo what the President said recently at the opening of the Ambassadors’ Conference on 29 August 2017: “…the future of the world will be largely played out in Africa …. The African countries will be our great partners. And we must continue to learn from them, as they can learn from us.”.

To find out more about the current taxation system, personnel management, labour law and company property and how it works, stay tuned for part II of the programme.


Video content: In this programme we’re going to focus on setting up a company in Francophone Africa, and particularly in the West, in the Ivory Coast and Senegal. A team of experts and entrepreneurs who live and work there will be giving us some advice.
But first of all, let’s get rid of any preconceived ideas that suggest that this part of the continent is a risk area:

Kevin Rivation – about the risks in WA
In the Ivory Coast, where we’re established, although the Ivorian government needs to reassure investors after the mutinies in late 2016-early 2017, the country can be considered to be extremely favourable to investors. Senegal is also very favourable for development investment.

That being said, we should highlight one of the key advantages of Francophone Africa for a French entrepreneur and, more specifically, the OHADA region, which is made up of 17 African countries:

Marc Sage
In Francophone Africa there’s a certain familiarity about the law, because 90% of it is what a French, Polish or even Russian entrepreneur would find in his own legal system, i.e. codified law: Civil Code, Commercial Code and all the codes and all the legislative and regulatory texts that have been introduced as part of OHADA are very similar to the legislative and regulatory texts applied to companies in France, Eastern Europe and even Russia.

While OHADA has facilitated many aspects of business in Francophone Africa, it must be said that certain difficulties remain

Benita KINDONGO
There are many difficulties facing French companies in Africa. Firstly, there may be some difference between legal theory and practice. OHADA law has brought uniformity to a wide range of legal regulations, but there are still a number of local practices, even inside the country. I think that’s the greatest difficulty facing French companies in Francophone Africa.

Africa is fashionable, there’s a very high rate of growth and everyone sees it as the continent of the future, so you’ll need to consider the local business climate, particularly in Senegal, if you’re looking to set up business there.

Abdoulaye M’Bodj
I’m not exaggerating when I say that the business climate in Senegal is of international class. The Senegalese authorities have decided that that is their aim, and 57 reforms have been put in place since 2006; most of them are now showing results. The Emergent Senegal Plan alone listed around 17 reforms and all of them have been put in place in collaboration with the private sector. Among the most important of these are the investment code, which has been improved to allow companies to enjoy a lot of facilities and advantages, the customs code, the mining code and land reform, in which companies that wish to use land can do so without any difficulty. So, a lot of reforms that have meant that Senegal now has a Business Code of international standard.

A business climate which, as we’ll see, is just as positive in the Ivory Coast

Thomas Chalumeau
In the Ivory Coast, the business climate has improved significantly in the last few years, as we can see from the various components involved: the ability to set up a local company, protection for minority investors, the ability to buy land terrain, the time allowed to erect buildings or build a head office, taxation and fiscal and legal rules. All of these mean that the IC has made a great deal of progress; it has made the business climate a government policy priority, to the great satisfaction of French and European investors.

A number of sectors are also booming in the region, such as ICT, Agriculture and building/public works, but there’s also considerable scope for action over the short term …

Etienne Giros
I think I would advise French companies and entrepreneurs looking to set up in Africa to examine a certain number of sectors. There’s obviously more than one: but the first question I would ask them is: do they have a good product, a good idea or a sound knowledge base? If the answer is “yes”, I think that the first sector to look at is the cities: Africa is about to face a demographic explosion and a level of urban development that the human era has not seen before, so answers need to be found for dealing with waste treatment, electrification, water treatment, housing construction, traffic routes, etc. and the French have a lot of knowledge in those areas. So, that’s the first sector, the Smart City, the green city, the clean city, etc. It concerns a large number of professions – architects, town planners, technicians, water engineers, etc. The scope is vast.

These countries have obviously made an effort to make life easier for companies looking to establish themselves locally and for entrepreneurs to set up their company. Apart from the fact that the existing types of companies are virtually the same as in France, with SARL, SAS, SA, etc., there are also other facilities, including those offered by the one-stop services that allow you to set up your organisation in less than 24 hours…as long as you have all the required documents.
Which leads us into a word about relations with the administrative authorities…

Nicolas KOCZOROWSKI
Relations with the administrative authorities are pretty good; once again, there has been a real administrative reorganisation with the aim of promoting smoother relations between private investors and the administrative authorities to facilitate the enterprise spirit and make it easier to bring projects to fruition. There are obviously still things to be done to make life even better, but there’s been a real evolution, and this has generally made relations with the administrative authorities relatively pleasant and simple.


So, this part of Africa offers real potential for entrepreneurs, but one essential piece of advice should not be forgotten…

Ronan Luven
First of all, you have to love Africa; if you don’t like Africa, don’t go there, frankly, because it won’t be good for either you or your company, or for business in general, and your contacts will soon find you out. So, you need to take an interest in what’s going on in terms of culture in Abidjan: music, reggae, painting or social events that may take place in the evening or at the weekend. You need to be prepared to integrate, even if you don’t live there, there’s a head office there, and that sets the tone.
So, it’s an essential point: if you’re not particularly attracted to an African country and you see it as an under-developed country but you’re nevertheless going to go out there to do business… don’t go.


In conclusion, and to echo what the President said recently at the opening of the Ambassadors’ Conference on 29 August 2017: “…the future of the world will be largely played out in Africa …. The African countries will be our great partners. And we must continue to learn from them, as they can learn from us.”.

To find out more about the current taxation system, personnel management, labour law and company property and how it works, stay tuned for part II of the programme.


Linked key words: West Africa, company, business, business creation, creation of society

Image for social networks:
 
 
 
 
   

 

Contact Us 
 Afrique21.tv accepts no liability for the content of advertisements and videos broadcast on www.afrique21.tv