[Interview] Jude Menes, Founder, Menes Konsult, United States
Jude Menes is a Nigerian-American attorney and founder of Menes Konsult Firms, in partnership with Europlaw, a group of firms dedicated to advising and guiding foreign investors and relations in Africa.
Tell us something about your firms, would you?
Our firms resulted from collaborative efforts of African professionals in Diaspora, local African professionals, and citizens of other continents committed to contributing to Africa’s development through healthy foreign investments and business relations by foreign companies. We represent foreign companies and investors to successfully operate in Africa by check-mating the risks and costs associated with fraud, corruption and other local issues. Our clients are both foreign and African corporations, governments, individuals, and NGOs (Non-profits)
Our teams/network of Drivers, Housekeepers, Cooks, Attorneys, Accountants, Business Specialists and others provide services ranging from the mundane to the professional. Because we have active members in all continents, we leverage our background, credibility, expertise, experience, and resources to ensure safety, security, and profitability of clients’ investments. We also help African governments/companies to access foreign funding for their viable projects. Africa benefits from our clients’ investments; Our clients’ businesses are successful; and Our firms’ founders fulfill their commitment to contribute to Africa’s development. It’s a WIN, WIN, and WIN deal!
Where are the firms operational?
Dallas, Texas; West Palm Beach, Florida; Abuja, Nigeria; Pretoria, South Africa; Kigali Rwanda; Lomé, Togo; Cotonou, Republic of Benin; Duala, Cameroon; Gaborone, Botswana; Port Louis, Mauritius; Exeter, United Kingdom; Guangzhou, China
When were these firms founded and by whom?
The firms got started in 2014 by myself and Barrister Andre Vorster. Principal owners/shareholders are Attorney Jude Menes, Barrister Andre Voster, Barrister Martin Bekker, and Dr. Jerald Feinstein.
Could you identify a common problem that your clients tend to face in doing business in Africa?
Fraud, scams, corruption and lack of quality, reliable, and credible workforce and professional services. Clients also face the problem of Africans’ lack of understanding of the right and proper ways of doing business and knowing what foreign investors are really looking for in order to invest in a particular country or project. We Africans also need to realize that there are unlimited needs and investment opportunities in the world, but willing and able investors are very limited.
How best can this issue of fraud and scams be mitigated for the long term?
More Africans in the diaspora need to get involved in doing business in the Africa and they need to be encouraged to do so. They can serve to provide professional services and on-the-job practical trainings and re-trainings to both the regular and professional workforce of local Africans. Because Africans in the diaspora have interests in the continent that are beyond the urge to make money and profits, they are in a better suited and better motivated to help re-educate our people. They will also be in a better position to make sure that Africa is getting good deals from foreign investors rather than deals that take advantage of Africa. But Africans in the diaspora need to be encouraged in order to get actively involved.
What does a would-be foreign investor in Africa need to know before taking a first step in?
It is important to know that there could be a learning curve in doing business in Africa. Some type of hand-holding may be necessary by a firm like ours. Africa is a different world and even within Africa each country has different ways. Our people are polite but that is not to be taken for weakness, nor should one be easily carried away by appearances. Look before you leap.
In what direction will the firms be going this year?
We are positioning our firms to be the number one got-to firm for foreign investors who are interested in expanding into Africa. On the other hand, we will become the one stop shop for African governments and private companies with viable projects needing funding. Our goal is to be available to every African government. We have added more reliable and vetted foreign investors who are specifically interested and motivated to invest in Africa. So, we are aggressively expanding our network of strategic partners and business consultants who are not only interested in making money but have passion for developing Africa. We are regularly vetting and bringing into our firms willing and able African professionals in the diaspora, local African professionals, and professionals from other continents with tremendous experience and expertise for making things happen.
We are currently putting together a group of foreign investors (companies and individuals) to establish an entertainment city in one of the African countries. This city will be an entertainment destination for every continent because it will be the Hollywood+Las Vegas+Disneyland in Africa!
Africa Business Communities is conducting a series of interviews with CEOs & Business Founders in Africa.
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