African businesses must be sustainable and unique to attract Chinese investors – Consultant

A business and language consultant in the Africa-China space and co-founder at Africansonchina, Sylvestor Menese Demuyakor has revealed two key things Chinese investors look out for in African startups.

Speaking in a chat on the AoC Monthly Series, Mr Demuyakor explained that there are already measures initiated by China to encourage partnerships with African businesses. He was responding to questions on the theme: Navigating the China-Africa Investment Landscape.

Speaking on opportunities that exist for African businesses to attract investment, Mr Demuyakor explained that initiatives like the China-Africa Development Fund (CAD Fund) are set up for such purposes.

Touching specifically on how startups can attract investors from China, he said African startup founders need to present sustainable and unique business ideas. According to him, the Chinese are very purposive in selecting where to put their money and they consider very much things such as sustainability and uniqueness.

Also, Mr Demuyakor underscored the need for African businesses to look towards value addition; a shift away from exporting raw materials. He was responding to a question on what areas who lead Africa-China business relationships in the next few years. According to him, trade has always been the major business link between the divides. He, however, said while trade is a key driver of business relationships between the two sides, Sino-Africa trade has been one-sided for a long time.

Based on trade data, he said, Africa imports more from China than it exports. That he said is a disadvantage as even the majority of Africa’s exports are without added value thus creating a continuous trade deficit.

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