Reuters reported today that “Walmart said on Monday it planned to buy South African retailer Massmart (MSMJ.J) in a $4 billion deal likely be a test case for other multinationals looking to tap rising consumer spending on the fast-growing continent.” This is true.
Many businesses, nonprofits, universities and famous people are touting the virtues of Africa and of “social entrepreneurship.” Indeed, Harvard, Yale and other prestigious institutions have created social enterprise courses for their students. President Obama is promoting an era of partnership to solve the world’s ailments including social ventures in Africa as a means to promote sustainable change. Wal-Mart must “do good” and keep its promises to promote BEE (broad based black economic empowerment) in South Africa. If they do this (and don’t act like they deserve to take over South Africa) and promote education, fair trade, good labor practices and skills training to name a few, then it will undoubtedly be good for South Africa and all of Africa.