Africa: Electronic Entrepreneur

There is no shortage of barriers to doing business in Africa. Shaky local governments are often difficult to deal with, markets are hard to develop, and trained workers are in short supply.

Yet Russell Kroeker, a 28-year-old U.S. electrical engineer from Richboro, Pa., has overcome all such hurdles to be come the fastest-rising entrepreneur in Malawi, the nation created in 1964 from the British protectorate of Nyasaland.

After spending a student summer in Nyasaland in 1962, Kroeker wrote Prime Minister Hastings Banda to offer his services to the government-run radio station. When Banda accepted, Kroeker headed back with his hi-fi set,...

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