By Vera Anyagafu
London Stock Exchange Group has launched its second edition of ‘Companies to Inspire Africa’ to celebrate some of Africa’s most dynamic growth businesses, featuring small entrepreneurial businesses through to well-established corporations.
Delivering keynote address, at the launch, which took place at the Group’s London Headquaters, British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing, who expressed delight to the number of Nigerian featured companies to this year’s ‘Companies to Inspire Africa (CTIA) report, said the encouraging number of featured Nigerian businesses shows the innovation and talent of Nigerian business men and women, and the opportunities that the country offers for Small and Medium Enterprises.
He said, “These businesses over the years to come will have a key role to play in economic development and job creation in Nigeria.”
Speaking also, the Chief Executive Officer, London Stock Exchange Group, David Schwimmer, “London Stock Exchange Group’s ‘Companies to Inspire Africa’ report showcases inspirational and entrepreneurial businesses from across the African continent, representing a wide variety of industries and countries.
The CEO, who was joined by the International Development Secretary, Penny Mordaunt, to welcome guests including CEOs of featured companies, African government representatives, Africa-focused investors and trade groups, was particularly expressive in the pivotal roles African businessmen and women are making towards shaping the future of African business.
According to him, “These high growth companies have the potential to transform the African economy and become tomorrow’s job creators. At LSEG, we are committed to helping companies realise that potential and we are pleased to highlight and celebrate the company success stories behind one of the world’s fastest growing markets.”
Corroborating Schwimmer, International Development Secretary, Penny Mordaunt, added that Africa is going through a period of enormous change, saying that five of the world’s fastest-growing economies are African and by 2050 a quarter of the world’s population will live there.
“This growth presents unique opportunities for us all. The Companies to Inspire Africa report highlights the leading private companies operating in Africa, which have the most inspiring stories and the strongest growth potential. By combining African-led ambition with British expertise we can unlock investment and create more jobs for Africa and the UK. This is a win for Africa and a win for the UK”, Mordaunt added.
Also lending a voice, West Africa Regional Senior Partner, PwC, Uyi Akpata, stated that, “We are extremely honoured to partner again with London Stock Exchange Group for the second series of the ‘Companies to Inspire Africa’ report. At PwC, we view private businesses as a critical catalyst to job creation, economic growth, and innovation. Initiatives such as this help expose these companies to a global audience, and we hope will lead to further collaboration across border with London-based investors and strategic partners. It is also great to see the public sector represented here. It is an important testament to their commitment to supporting the private sector and continuing to drive improvements in ease of doing business.
We are also looking forward to hosting the Lagos launch, especially given Nigeria has the single largest representation with 97 of the 360 companies. We at PwC are committed to supporting private businesses and applaud London Stock Exchange Group for this initiative.’
However, the report which identified 360 companies from 32 countries across the African Continent with 7 major sectors represented was produced in partnership with African Development Bank Group, CDC Group, PwC and Asoko Insight,
The report revealed exceptional rates of growth amongst this year’s cohort, with average revenue Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) at 46 per cent and average employee CAGR at 25 per cent, over three years.
London Stock Exchange Group has a long history of supporting the development of African capital markets and investment in African companies and with 97 featured Nigerian businesses and Kenya, 66, led the countries represented in the report this year, even as Nigeria interestingly built on its leading position established in the 2017 Report with strong representation from the Industry and Technology & Telecom sectors
By and large, companies in this year’s report are creating significant employment opportunities across Africa with each company employing an average of 363 people.