Ambidexterity for Africa – empowering African businesses for global competitiveness


In today’s rapidly evolving global economy, businesses face the challenge of balancing the exploration of new opportunities with the exploitation of existing capabilities. This dual approach, known as ambidexterity, is critical for sustained competitiveness and innovation.

Ambidextrous organizations are adept at navigating change, fostering innovation, and maintaining operational excellence. As Africa continues to emerge as a significant player in the global market, adopting ambidextrous strategies is essential for the continent’s economic growth and development.

Africa’s business landscape is at a pivotal moment. With the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) coming into effect, the potential for intra-African trade and economic integration has never been greater. Executives across the continent are optimistic, expecting a significant rise in intra-regional trade.

In 2024, 28percent of surveyed business leaders anticipate that sub-Saharan Africa will be their largest export market, a notable increase from previous years of 19percent. Only Europe (38percent) and North America (34percent) rank higher in the list of regions expected to provide the greatest contribution in terms of export sales. (Trade In Transition: navigating the tides of uncertainty – Global Report 2024, Economist Impact)

Despite these positive trends, African businesses still face numerous challenges, including infrastructure deficits, regulatory hurdles, and limited access to advanced technologies. However, the continent’s vast resources, youthful population, and increasing digitization present unique opportunities for growth and development.

Ambidexterity for Africa (A4A)

Recognizing the critical need to enhance business competitiveness and foster sustainable industrialization, the Ambidexterity for Africa (A4A) initiative was established. A4A aims to empower African businesses with the tools and strategies necessary to thrive in the dynamic global market. By promoting ambidextrous innovation, A4A seeks to bridge the gap between traditional business practices and the demands of the modern economy.

The A4A policy framework is designed to provide a structured approach to enhancing trade competitiveness, fostering innovation, and supporting sustainable industrial practices. This initiative is rooted in the belief that African businesses can achieve remarkable success by leveraging both new opportunities and existing strengths.

The need for Ambidexterity

In a world where change is the only constant, businesses must be agile and adaptable. Ambidexterity enables organizations to innovate while maintaining efficiency and stability. For African businesses, this approach is particularly crucial as they navigate the complexities of regional and global markets. By balancing exploration and exploitation, African enterprises can drive economic growth, create jobs, and foster innovation.

The launch of the A4A policy framework

The A4A policy framework is set to be officially launched in July 2024, marking a significant milestone in the journey towards enhancing African business competitiveness. This framework incorporates key strategic pillars, including innovation and technology, capacity building, policy advocacy, and partnerships and collaboration. Each pillar is designed to address specific challenges and leverage unique opportunities within the African business environment.

The launch of the A4A policy framework represents a commitment to fostering a competitive, innovative, and sustainable business landscape in Africa. By providing a comprehensive, structured approach, A4A aims to equip African businesses with the necessary tools to succeed in a rapidly changing global economy.

Following the launch, A4A will introduce a series of pilot tools and initiatives designed to support businesses in adopting ambidextrous strategies. These tools will focus on enhancing research and development (R&D) capabilities, promoting technology adoption, and providing targeted training programs. Additionally, A4A will facilitate partnerships between public and private sectors to drive innovation and economic growth.

The pilot tools will be tested in real-world settings to refine strategies and ensure their effectiveness. By continuously monitoring and evaluating these initiatives, A4A aims to provide valuable insights and best practices that can be scaled across the continent.

Call for early participation

A4A invites businesses, policymakers, and industry leaders to participate in this groundbreaking initiative. Early participation offers a unique opportunity to shape the future of African business competitiveness and contribute to sustainable economic growth. By collaborating with A4A, stakeholders can gain access to cutting-edge tools, resources, and networks that will drive innovation and success.

For more information on A4A and opportunities for collaboration, please contact our team at [email protected]. We welcome inquiries from businesses, government entities, and international organizations interested in partnering with us to enhance trade competitiveness and foster sustainable industrialization in Africa.


The Ambidexterity for Africa (A4A) initiative represents a transformative approach to enhancing business competitiveness and fostering sustainable industrialization across the continent. By promoting ambidextrous strategies, A4A aims to equip African businesses with the tools and knowledge necessary to thrive in a dynamic global market. As we prepare for the official launch of the A4A policy framework, we invite stakeholders to join us in this exciting journey towards a more competitive, innovative, and sustainable African business landscape.

Contact: [email protected], and or (+233) 050-703-8639

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