Business and Finance

Africa’s business opportunities are increasingly on show in Britain.

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Its message is being carried to London’s financial community and industrialists by a series of conferences and seminars.  Presentations of business opportunities in the African economy are the subject of increasing numbers of showcase events attracting large audiences of both African and European investors, financiers and entrepreneurs.  The recent Ugandan Convention reported in this magazine was targeted at emigrants wishing to return to the land of their birth or Diaspora as the traditional return journey home is known.  Significant national figures including the Ugandan Parliament’s Speaker, the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and other African politicians and business people delivered a positive message to those considering investing their skills and money back into their homeland.  

October was a busy month for Africa’s showcases, an East Africa’s Global Trade and Investment Forum was held in London’s Royal Commonwealth Club and a Sierra Leone Investment Conference was hosted in the Daily Telegraph offices.  The Reuters prestigious “Annual African Capital Markets Conference” was held in their offices for the 5th year running.  The cream of Africa’s banking fraternity spoke on Foreign Direct Investment and other business matters and indicating how the African economy was growing (unlike Europe’s).  They allied their remarks to descriptions of how the establishment of peace and prosperity was making all this economic development possible.  The financial sector’s banks, economists and financiers showed growing sophistication in the management of Africa’s capital markets as well as its oil and mining resources.     

The most recent of Africa’s showpieces held here in London was the UK – Senegal Investment Forum which occurred last week.  Its Conference brochure listed a number of supporting partners including SN Mineral & Mining and Tora Gold as well as the Dangote Group.  This last company is a conglomerate and the largest quoted company on the Nigerian Stock exchange and was awarded the African Business of the year in 2011. It has donated over US$ 2 million to United Nations programmes in Africa during the year.  

The United Nations also plays its part in showcasing African business needs and opportunities.  Its role in the World’s economy requires it to encourage more British company’s to supply grant aided goods and services to Africa.  This was the reason for a series of seminars on the subject have been held in London and also Paris hosted by the UN in the last months.  The range of goods and service contracts placed by the many agencies of the UN amounted to US$ 5 billion last year.   If you wish to see your product or service listed as a supplier in their UN Global Market System, send us an email message to the address below.  We will send you details of some of the more recently placed contracts and help to find new ones suitable for your company.   Bidding for contracts with a value running from a few thousand dollars to large major contracts requires you to register with the UN’s Global Market data base.  Registration is free and it affords you many export opportunities into the African market.  Email us for details.

Peter Matthews
The Foreign Direct Investment EEIG

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