Afribiz Launches OpenBizMarket to Reveal the Real Picture of Business in Africa

Sandton, South Africa, January 12, 2010 --( Africa is a vast continent with vast resources, including people and information. Information and “people” resources are particularly undertapped when speaking of doing business or investing in Africa. Afribiz recognizes the ability of people and information to catalyze business and economic development, if they are connected in the right way. Hence, Afribiz developed the idea for the OpenBizMarket™ platform.

The OpenBizMarket™ platform simply connects people and organizations to what is actually happening in business in Africa, as well as helping them to navigate business or investment successfully. This is accomplished by placing a person in the middle of the information, context, community and systems involved in doing business in Africa.

It sounds similar to news agencies that say they will put you in the middle of the action, or perhaps other online marketplaces. But Afribiz’s founder, Lauri Elliott, shares that it is something quite different. “The vision of OpenBizMarket™ is to connect you to the pulse of business and investment in Africa whether you are physically or virtually there. In the long run, we want you to be able to fully ‘taste’ the business activity in Africa so that you are in no way disconnected from the full reality of doing business in Africa successfully.”

To accomplish this, the OpenBizMarket™ platform has many facets. First, the platform operates on variety of concepts and methodologies to drive its objective, including framing business and investment in Africa as an ecosystem. In an ecosystem, it’s not just important to know information but the relationships between information, actors, and activities.

Second, information about business in Africa needs to be treated, not as discrete information channels, but as a full body of knowledge. Both these approaches help businesses and investors make strategic, successful decisions in a complex and chaotic business environment.

At this point, says Elliott, “Afribiz’s position is to serve our community in the roles of navigator and metamediary. We need to bring available information to the forefront. Information on Africa is often found through haphazard, or even extensive, research on the part of our community. Once we do this, we then help them contextualize the information and intelligence. This helps our community navigate investing and doing business in Africa successfully.”

In light of these roles, Afribiz has rolled out alpha versions of OpenBizMarket™ on its website over the last few months. The work has included adding channels for strategic insight areas like ICT, infrastructure and culture. Afribiz has also started flushing out the content to reflect the body of knowledge needed to do business in Africa. It’s also easier for the community to navigate the website, as well as access more relevant content with fewer clicks. Afribiz even provides a webinar on navigating Africa successfully called, “Setting a Path for Success in Africa: In Business, Investment in Life.”

Elliott says, “The results are promising. We see traffic has more than tripled and people are staying on the site longer. Just these figures tell us we are headed in the right direction.”

About Afribiz

Afribiz is a “new economy” communication and community ecosystem focused on promoting increased economic opportunity and successful trade between Africa and the world, as well as between African countries. The driving factor is to support broad-based economic development through for-profit enterprise based on open, inclusive markets.

The ecosystem includes provisioning of information, intelligence, and insights about business and investments in Africa. Afribiz uses web, multimedia, print, radio and TV platforms to interact with the public and its members. It is a key brand of BizConcierge PTY LTD of South Africa.

Stephanie Shannon