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Africa Rising: How 900 Million African Consumers Offer More Than You Think Hardcover – September 8, 2008

ISBN-13: 978-0132339421 ISBN-10: 0132339420 Edition: 1st
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Africa, like many emerging markets, has been long overlooked, but is poised for explosive growth and opportunity, says author Mahajan (The 86 Percent Solution) in this must-read for investors, executives and anyone with an interest in global business. He argues that Africa "is richer than you think" and presents "as big an opportunity as China and India." The author describes a burgeoning middle class, referred to as "Africa Two," and illustrates how successful companies are organizing the marketplace, creating infrastructure, advertising, and even customizing packaging. In a continent where many countries lack basic resources and transportation, Mahajan admits it would be easy for investors or corporations to discount prospects for profitability, but he describes how creative entrepreneurs have identified these problems as opportunities: the Coca-Cola Company uses trucks, bicycles and handcarts to transport its product into rural villages and is building its own ice plant to keep drinks cool during power outages. This compelling and captivating overview of the market with its colorful anecdotes provides a tremendous insight into Africa's wealth, which Mahajan calls a "different type of oil and diamonds."
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


"a revealing primer for businesses hoping to gain a foothold on the continent. Part travelogue, part textbook, part who's who of global businesses operating on the continenet..." - This is Africa (readership 100,000)

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Pearson Prentice Hall; 1 edition (September 8, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0132339420
  • ISBN-13: 978-0132339421
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #791,781 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Vijay Mahajan holds the John P. Harbin Centennial Chair in Business at McCombs School of Business, University of Texas at Austin. He has received numerous lifetime achievement awards including the American Marketing Association (AMA) Charles Coolidge Parlin Award for visionary leadership in scientific marketing. The AMA also instituted the Vijay Mahajan Award in 2000 for career contributions to marketing strategy. In 2006, he received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Indian Institute of Technology (Kanpur) for his contributions to management research. He served as the Dean of the Indian School of Business in Hyderabad from 2002-2004.

Mahajan is author or editor of ten books including his recent book Africa Rising published by the Wharton School Publishing in 2009. His last book on market opportunities in developing countries ( also published by The Wharton School Publishing), The 86 % Solution, received the 2007 "Book-of-Year" Award (Berry-AMA) from the American Marketing Association. He is one of the world's most widely cited researchers in business and economics and has been invited by more than 100 universities and research institutions worldwide for research presentations. He edited the Journal of Marketing Research, and has consulted with Fortune 500 companies and delivered executive development programs worldwide.

Mahajan received B.Tech in Chemical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology at Kanpur, his M.S. in Chemical Engineering and Ph.D in Management from the University of Texas at Austin.

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Peter G. Keen VINE VOICE on October 28, 2008
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The strength of this book, which is my reason for giving it four stars, is that provides a positive perspective on Africa that stresses just how much innovation is underway there, a valuable counterbalance to the general bleak evalations of its economic growth, and that it adds to a major and, for me, vital shift in thinking about development and aid. It has a lot of weaknesses when it moves beyond its largely consumer market focus, however.

This is a marketing expert's book, written by someone with first-rate knowledge and a wealth of experience and corporate contacts. It challneges the old development community assumtions about the population in the undeveloped world being largely helpless, ignorant and adrift. That community mostly views its own capabilities as being wiser, knowing better and being more qualified to define plans and investments than they. Its priorities have been grand schemes, infrastructure projects and close collaborations with governemt and international agencies. I strongly recommend Easterley's demolition of this perspective in his book The Whte Man's Burden. Like Africa Rising, he argues for a bottom-up focus on giving local entrepreneurs the tools and limied help they need and will quickly exploit. There is a huge pool of entrepreneurial energy among small business owners, farmers, taxi drivers, entertainment providers and many others. Far from being lazy or ignorant, they are street-smart and energetic. Africa Rising shows plenty of instances, and also points to such multinationals as Unilver and Coca-Cola in stimulating demand and meeting widespread needs. The exammples are interesting and often striking. Nollywood, the rapidly expanding Nigeria-based (hence the "N")is a major producer of films, for instance, and the equal of Bollywood as a social force.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Penetralia on November 26, 2008
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Vijay Mahajan, author of The 86 Percent Solution: How to Succeed in the Biggest Market Opportunity of the 21st Century, and eight other titles brings us a wonderfully balanced view of Africa.

Decades ago, Mahajan, a US marketing professor from India predicted his home country's future success that we see today. Now, he does the same with "Africa Rising."

The author discusses how much of the world views Africa as a charity case, rather than a market opportunity with more than 900 million consumers. Various market segments are explored in this text, including: food, clothing, medicine, shelter, cell phones, bicycles, automobiles, education, water, and more. Colorful photos are also included. Such areas like the media, advertising, and entertainment [and Nigeria's booming film industry, termed, "Nollywood"] were also outlined with detailed examples of growth sectors.

This book is highly recommended for Africanists, Marketers, Entrepreneurs, Business Leaders, Students, and more. Some large firms, such as Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and Guinness, have already taken full advantage of the African arena, with not only their products, but with clever advertising systems for repeat business and culturization.

As a Master of Business, I found this text to be truly enlightening, and hope that others will take part in the growth and sustainability of Africa's economy.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
All my life, I have been reading and hearing about the plight of Africa. Wars, famine, plague, genocide, poverty and despair have always been the main news stories emerging from the continent since the end of colonialism. Two award-winning films about areas in Africa in recent years, "Hotel Rwanda" and "The Last King of Scotland" both dealt with genocidal regimes and the violent deaths of millions. Therefore, it was a great pleasure to read this book, which has a very positive message about the continent.
Until I read this book, I had no idea that ten nations on the African continent have a per capita Gross National Income (GNI) higher than the People's Republic of China (PRC) and an additional eight have a GNI higher than that of India. When you factor in that the PRC and India are considered to be emerging global economic powerhouses, then this is an incredible statistic. Given that the population of Africa is on average the youngest in the world, then there is a physical and economic dynamic that is almost unknown to the broad population of the westernized nations.
This combination means that there are incredible opportunities for opening new markets provided they are suitably modified to appeal to the local populations. Which are extremely diverse and sometimes very conservative. For example, marketing personal hygiene products to young women in Muslim countries is a very delicate issue due to religious restrictions. There is also the problems of political instability, lack of legal traditions, tribal hostilities and barriers due to limited physical infrastructure. Nevertheless, entrepreneurship will in most cases win out over what appear to be insurmountable odds, which is what is happening in Africa.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Review Monster VINE VOICE on April 1, 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This book has a great way of giving business a new perspective on how Africans are perceived in the consumer driven world. On one hand it is good to see Africa and Africans being recognized as more than third world hardship cases. On the other hand by putting them in the category of consumers, like this book does, are we really giving them a better life. The US has become a nation of consumers and now we are faced with failing economic numbers that haven't been seen in three decades and a collapsing economy that can easily rival the great depression. Africans need to be thought of as more than dollar signs and it should be looked as the potential of being a grand social experiment that extends far beyond the playground to commit the same mistakes of the first world nations surrounding her.
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