How French companies are reinventing themselves in and for Africa


For 11 years, the International Development Observatory has been analyzing the operating strategies of French companies in their internationalization.
Major French groups are making a growing share of their investments, risk-taking and revenues outside France. Africa is illustrating itself as an unavoidable growth relay for French companies operating in Africa. The phenomenon is not new, but its current scope is pushing French companies to rethink their African dynamics. Several factors must be considered:

  • How to cultivate proximity with its markets while optimizing costs in a logic of operational excellence? The question of governance, organization and localization therefore arises for these companies.
  • How to develop offers that are consistent with the expectations of African customers, in the face of increasingly demanding consumers?
    demanding consumers? The quality of human capital and its ability to understand the specificities of local markets appears to be a real key factor of success.
  • How to better innovate in order to stand out from other market players, pan-African champions and other « non
    How can we better innovate to better differentiate ourselves from other market players, pan-African champions and other « non-African » companies, in light of the growing need to « relocate » and the increasingly fierce competition?
  • For this 11th edition of the ODI, we have therefore decided to focus on the challenges and prospects of the organization of French companies in Africa along three axes:
  • dynamics of the head office-subsidiary relationship ; organization of human resources and development of human capital
  • specificities of innovation systems for African markets.
  • We hope you enjoy reading this white paper, which summarizes the main conclusions of this survey of more than 300 French companies and highlights feedback from companies and experts

Jean-Michel Huet
Partner Africa & International Development

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