Monday, October 11, 2021

A Talk on Culture and Business Between Africa and Latin America

October 5, 2021 was a special day for me. I made a Zoom presentation to a conference organized from universities in Colombia titled International Summit: Regional Perspective on Africa and Latin America. The title of my talk was "Culture and Business: A Broad Perspective From Africa and Latin America."

For many years, I have been a cultural consultant working Africans and Americans. In the process, I published my book, Africans and Americans: Embracing Cultural Differences and have been using it as my principal resource. 

In the past year, I have developed a particular an interest in the cultural dimension of business between Africans and Americans. An indication of this is a short paper I published, titled Culture and Business Between Africans and Americans. Then, Toyin Umesiri invited me to be one of the speakers at the Trade With Africa Business Summit that she organized and hosted on May 31-June 4, 2021. In addition, I recently published a book Chickens in the Bus: More Thoughts on Cultural Differences in which I elaborated my ideas further.

I was therefore generally ready to speak at the Summit on business between Africa and Latin America. I knew the issues I wanted to raise. However, I was not as conversant with Latin American culture as I am with African and United States culture.

I did some research on Latin American culture and was excited to discover significant similarities between it and African Culture. In my talk, therefore, stated that I felt Latin Americans and Africans would find it quite easy to do business with each other.

I did point out, however, that language differences are there and it is important for the Africans and Latin Americans to learn how to navigate them in order, for example, to properly market products.

However, I emphasized, because of the cultural similarities, the language issue would not be a major obstacle. If we can think of culture as a language, we can say that Africans and Latin Americans essentially speak the same language. 

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