Business Continuity Management

In many parts of the world, business continuity management is an academic security management study.Books and articles have been written about the importance of business continuity and the need to ensure that the company continues to make a profit whatever the type or size of corruption that occurs.

Much of the content of business continuity management and plans are simply common sense and the documentation is prepared, published and placed in some forgotten storage cabinet – rarely, if ever, to be used.

Doing business in Africa is not easy. However successful you might think your business is, there are a range of business risks that simply do not exist in the developed countries. In Africa, you will be experiencing a range of criminal and anti-social behaviour, as well as interference from government and third parties which will be unpredictable in nature and scope.

Imagine opening a business in Zimbabwe. The country has a highly educated and English-speaking workforce; a dollar economy; and a range of business opportunities in the areas of tourism, constructions, transport and manufacturing. Despite these benefits, the ZANU-PF government has recently decided that “indigenisation” is a realistic and sustainable political strategy.

Foreign companies in Zimbabwe, whether international corporates or small businesses, have now been forced to cede 51% of their shares in local units to Zimbabweans so that “our people become significant stakeholders and not mere bystanders in the running of the national economy”. As from New Years Day 2014, hairdressing, retailing, advertising and employment companies, as well as restaurants serving local food, must all be owned and operated by Zimbabweans.

Consider running a business in South Africa where the national enegery company, Eskom, has introduced rolling blackouts to reduce the strain on a collapsing and poorly maintained national grid. Eskom acknowledges that managing a country’s electricity supply is a complex balancing act. The parastatal manages South Africa’s electricity reserve by having regular meetings to review national demand patterns and debate future changes.

Yet, the attendees at these meetings are not qualified or equipped to make informed decisions based on highly complex, detailed planning and modelling programmes. If they were, Eskom would not be plagued by the failure of several generating units at its coal-fired power stations or the breaking of one of only two lines from the Cahora Bassa hydroelectric power scheme in neighbouring Mozambique.

What if you wanted to setup a financial services firm in Nairobi, Kenya, in order to capitalise on the financial boom in the region? Unfortunately, because of the Kenyan Army’s invasion of Somalia since 2011, Al-Shabaab has been engaged in an active terror campaign involving mall shootings, grenade attacks in markets, targeted assassinations and kidnappings.

Because the Al Qaeda-linked terrorist organisation has had many successes in neighbouring Somalia, Al-Shabaab is winning new recruits from the country but also is attracting recruits from disenfranchised young Kenyans. This fifth column of support in Kenya has prompted Al-Shabaab to increase its terrorist activity in the country. As a result of this increased activity, concerns exist about the safety and security of staff in the workplace.

When you require business continuity planning in Africa, benefit from our experience of working with Clients in all 55 African countries. Utilise our proprietary holistic security management approach to prioritise the actual risks to your operations. By developing an informed and tested business management continuity programme, you will be able to build organisational resilience within your company. This resilience will give you the response capability to protect the interests of your employees, management, key stakeholders, brand and reputation.

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