Since South Africa opened its first franchise in the 1960’s the rest of Africa has looked on in awe at the rapid development and success of this business format and, since its establishment in 1979, the Franchise Association of South Africa (FASA) has been the inspiration and point of contact for many other African countries wanting to establish franchising in their respective countries.
In 2002 FASA hosted, together with the AFDB and the World Franchise Council an Africa Symposium not only for the benefit of South Africa but for the far-reaching benefit of the rest of Africa. With South Africa spearhead the initiative to help Africa add value to its natural resources, diversify its markets, develop infrastructures and encourage small business development, showing that there was huge scope for the franchise sector, both locally and internationally, to open a two-way street of business investment that would be to the benefit of all parties concerned.
The African Development Bank commissioned a study in 2003 on franchising opportunities in Africa which concluded that there was great growth potential for franchising in Africa with the private sector being the main conduit for the investments needed for franchise success in Africa. In the analysis of the Franchise Sector in Africa, three objectives were highlighted:
To examine the general environmental conditions that have influenced the extent of franchise development in the countries surveyed.
To evaluate the relative strengths and weaknesses of Franchise Systems in comparison to generally accepted “Best Practices” in Franchising.
To propose certain types of franchised businesses that may be particularly suitable for the African context.
Since then, many South African franchise companies have taken up the lead in expanding their concepts into Sub-Saharan Africa and beyond, many with great success. FASA’s annual International Franchise Expo has always attracted delegations from African countries eager to learn more about establishing franchising in their respective countries. As FASA plays a crucial role as an active member of the World Franchise Council, it supported the establishment of a Pan African Franchise Federation in May 2013 that would spearhead the growth of franchising throughout Africa.