Interesting. It’s not for a want of desire to expand — there are Nigerian startups that know fundamentally that once they can establish themselves in English and French-speaking Africa, they’ll fetch a handsome price by way of a buy-out from the foreign startups they’re modeling in Africa. In fact, they are not worth a consideration for an exit until they have provisionally established in other countries.
As you mentioned, it’s a fight for survival, which is what I said when you originally asked the question:
While treading water to stay afloat in the operational day-to-day, gathering the wits to establish international connections to make the leap to foreign (in an African context) waters begin to sound downright stressful.
For startups like this, I think they should just consider buying out mirror startups in those other countries, using their own operational machinery to establish themselves by proxy there, until they revamp and rebrand. If this is a worthwhile strategy, then they should factor it into upcoming funding rounds (some parts of the funding for scaling the original startups, and some bits for buying extant startups in target expansion nations.)