Ify Emelife

Last week, the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) in collaboration with London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) launched the ‘Companies to Inspire Africa 2017’ report, at its headquarters in Abidjan.

According to the Bank, this 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. Read more about the report here…

Africa’s development

In Western Africa, 124 companies were identified; 103 in Eastern Africa; 90 in Southern Africa; 61 in Northern Africa; and 18 in Central Africa.

Speaking at the event, AfDB Vice President for Private Sector, Infrastructure and Industrialisation, 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 Industrialise Africa High 5 Agenda is focused on private sector-led growth enabled by a conducive business environment and a dynamic financial sector, capitalising on domestic resources and foreign direct investment,” Guislain stated. Read more…

Guislain added: “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.”

Diverse range of sectors

Co-head emerging markets at the LSEG, Ibukun Adebayo, also commented: “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.”

The Bank further highlighted its commitment 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 programmes and initiatives that support SMEs.

“One of these is the Africa SME Program- a 1$29 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,” AfDB Senior Vice President Frannie Leautier, noted.

Leautier continued: 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).”

 

Featured image source: USAID