OCP Africa: Building ecosystems for sustainability
The OCP Africa case illustrates the challenges of entering a market challenged by unfavorable conditions for the target customer – be it infrastructure, access to market, access to finance, education, etc. while at the same time acknowledging the need to respect the environmental mistakes made in other parts of the world – namely unsustainable farming. This forces OCP Africa to pursue a non-traditional, innovative approach to entering the African continent with a partnership-based strategy. The case starts by showing the challenges of the fertilizer market within Africa and the challenges for the farmers to farm in a sustainable manner. It then illustrates how OCP Africa learned from its first experiences in piloting an ecosystem approach in order to align the interests of aggregators, off-takers, input providers, financial institutions and government agencies to allow farmers to learn about sustainable farming and at the same time achieve a higher level of welfare. Business models that leverage public-private and private-private partnerships for social and economic benefits are often discussed theoretically with limited examples of use cases. This case aims to demonstrate through the OCP Africa example, the challenges of establishing and sustaining such partnerships, while taking a stakeholder-centric approach to doing business.
• Understand the strategic and operational aspects of creating and utilizing an ecosystem for sustainable innovation
• Recognize that to benefit from the business potential offered by emerging markets that are often maimed by underlying systemic challenges and market failures, it’s becoming increasingly important for private sector players to work within an ecosystem.
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