As the global economic slowdown continues to inhibit opportunities for expansion in home territories, more and more companies are looking to the rest of Africa as a potential growth market. The mistake too many of these brands make, particularly international ones, is to treat Africa as a homogenous whole. Africa does not have a single culture. A marketing strategy that works in one African market does not guarantee success in another, and to assume otherwise indicates a woeful ignorance of the continent and its diverse people. The vibrant and colourful continent has a kaleidoscope of cultures, traditions and ethnic groups that respect many different values and beliefs. The people of Africa are defined not only by their innate traditional and prevailing social cultures but also by the broader political landscape within which they find themselves. Consider, for example, how very different Zimbabwe’s financial and economic environment – with its currency problems, soaring inflation an...

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