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."
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
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.