The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) in collaboration with London Stock Exchange Group, hosted the inaugural African Launch of the ‘Companies to Inspire Africa 2017’ Report on Wednesday, 26 April 2017 at its headquarters in Abidjan.
The ‘Companies to Inspire Africa’ initiative aims to provide global investors visibility of Africa’s high growth private sector companies and enable private sector access to capital through financial intermediaries and Africa’s capital markets.
The report, which is a result of LSEG’s research and collaboration with its partners the AfDB, CDC Group and PwC, identifies 343 fast growing private companies from across 42 African countries and 7 sectors.
In Western Africa, 124 companies were identified; 103 in Eastern Africa; 90 in Southern Africa; 61 in Northern Africa; and 18 in Central Africa.
In his opening remarks, AfDB Vice President for Private Sector, Infrastructure and Industrialization, Pierre Guislain stressed the important role of the private sector in Africa’s development and in the Bank’s activities.
“Investment and growth in Africa depend largely on the private sector. The Bank’s Industrialize Africa High 5 Agenda is focused on private sector-led growth enabled by a conducive business environment and a dynamic financial sector, capitalizing on domestic resources and foreign direct investment. Non-sovereign lending and private sector support are the fastest growing part of the Bank’s work, with lending increasing from less than 10% of total Bank lending a decade ago to reach over 30% in the coming years.”
The inaugural report, launched in the region with the highest number of small and medium enterprises listed in the report, demonstrates the breath and diversity of African private businesses. It also highlights Africa as a key region for growth opportunities.
“We are delighted to be in Abidjan to celebrate the launch of the inaugural edition of London Stock Exchange Group’s Companies to Inspire Africa report, which is a result of our research and collaboration with our partners African Development Bank, CDC Group and PwC.
The report includes 124 businesses in West Africa, and the 18 companies from Côte d’Ivoire named in the publication hail from a diverse range of sectors, showing that private businesses from across a variety of industries are driving economic growth across the country. Small and medium sized companies provide a vital platform for job creation and skills development in Côte d’Ivoire and we are pleased to have brought these success stories to the fore,” said Ibukun Adebayo, co-head Emerging Markets at the London Stock Exchange Group.
The Bank is committed to leveraging on collaborations and partnerships, joining respective expertise to further drive private enterprise development and support Africa’s economic and social transformation. It has also developed targeted programs and initiatives that support SMEs.
“One of these is the Africa SME Program- a USD 129 million program, which we launched in 2013, and through which the Bank provides lines of credit and technical assistance to financial institutions that lend to SMEs. We also have the “African Guarantee Fund for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (AGF)”, which we launched in 2012 together with the Danish International Development Agency (Danida), and the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID)” said AfDB Senior Vice President Frannie Leautier in her remarks.
Cote d’Ivoire’s Minister of National Entrepreneurship, Crafts and SME Promotion, Souleymane Diarrassouba and British Ambassador to Côte d’Ivoire, Josephine Gauld joined the AfDB and LSEG in launching the Companies to Inspire Africa 2017 Report on Africa’s soil and in celebrating the CEOs and Founders of the companies in Africa featured in the report.
The event was also attended by special guests from partners PwC and sponsors FTI Consulting, Citibank as well as senior representatives from Africa focused private equity funds, investors, private companies, policy makers, financial institutions, stock exchanges and capital markets players.