April 23, 2017

Report Identifies Hundreds of Africa's Most Inspirational and Dynamic Private, High-Growth Companies

The London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) launched it inaugural Companies to Inspire Africa report, which, according to Xavier Rolet KBE, LSEG's CEO, identifies "hundreds of Africa's most inspirational and dynamic private, high-growth companies – ones which have come to the attention of major global investors." The companies listed in the report "boast an impressive average compound annual growth rate of 16%. On average, each firm employs nearly 400 people."

Highlighting African companies from the following eight sectors: agriculture, consumer services, ELITE Morocco, financial services, healthcare and pharmaceutical, industry, renewable energy, and technology & telecoms, the report "also highlights the unique role of female entrepreneurship, with approximately 12% of these high-growth companies led by female entrepreneurs, three times the average for companies across Africa." Moreover, Mr. Rolet says: "This new report demonstrates that high-growth, private companies are fast becoming the driving force behind African economies: developing skills, creating high-quality jobs and driving economic growth."

In her commentary, Priti Patel, Member of the House of Commons of the United States and Secretary of State, Department for International Development, rightly notes: "Entrepreneurship is the cornerstone of any vibrant economy. It is the motor that drives investment, job creation and economic growth. Throughout history, sustained, job-creating growth has played the greatest role in lifting huge numbers of people out of grinding poverty. It is entrepreneurship that delivers the life-changing progress that comes from growth in developed economies, and it is entrepreneurship that is beginning to deliver the same in Africa."

Ms. Patel further explains that "Companies to Inspire Africa showcases some outstanding stories of innovation, bravery and growth across the continent. It brings Africa's entrepreneurial spirit to an international audience, and I would like to congratulate all the companies featured for their vision, ambition and tenacity. It is their success that will drive Africa forward to a future of prosperity, and away from a reliance on international aid."

With respect to the technology and telecoms sector, the report notes that the growth in mobile phone usage in Africa will grew 344 percent from 2007-2016 and 314 tech hubs are active around the continent. In addition, $608 million is expected to be invested in African tech startups in 2018.

Dale Mathias, Chair of the Partners Forum, Africa Private Capital Group, USAID, correctly maintains that "Africa is distinguished by the enormity of the scope, range and size of commercial opportunities available to technology-based companies. This stems primarily from the continent's growth potential, its lack of commercial sophistication and the sheer size of its markets."

Importantly, Ms. Mathias says "technology can provide the solution to widespread African economic inefficiencies. Technological solutions will significantly enhance access to many types of products and services that businesses and consumers require, but that are not yet available, accessible or affordable."

Moreover, "With African mobile phone penetration exceeding 50%, numerous entrepreneurial tech companies have launched throughout Sub-Saharan Africa by creating products and services built upon the continent's established mobile phone infrastructure. Increasing access to the internet has resulted in the building of numerous such businesses across a broad range of verticals that include logistics, FinTech, agriculture, marketing, media, education and healthcare."

I strongly agree with Ms. Mathias that "Africa is poised for tremendous growth, and investment capital is becoming more available. Awareness of the region's potential is increasing and there exists today an abundance of capable and highly motivated entrepreneurs. Sub-Saharan Africa is truly an area of great investment opportunity, with technology destined to lead the way."

What role does Africa play in your global business strategy?

Aaron Rose is an advisor to talented entrepreneurs and co-founder of great companies. He also serves as the editor of Solutions for a Sustainable World.

No comments:

Post a Comment