With impressive economic growth figures, Africa is becoming an attractive destination for trade and export.
Africa is open for business and the continent is looking increasingly attractive as a trade and export destination, with average annual growth for Sub Saharan Africa forecast at 8% until 2023, which is a positive outlook following the downturn between 2015 and 2017.
This is according to Liz Whitehouse, MD of Africa House and Africa research partner to dmg events.
Africa Trade Week will be held from 23 to 25 June 2019 at the Gallagher Convention Centre, in Midrand, and includes the co-location of the South African International Trade Exhibition (SAITEX), The Hotel Show Africa, and Africa’s Big 7.
Whitehouse pointed out that East Africa is primarily the driving force of growth on the continent, with the regional economy showing no contraction, as opposed to other regions.
This is largely because East Africa is not an extractives-dependent region, with mining and oil and gas only now starting to become of some importance. With South Africa and Nigeria excluded from regional data, East Africa emerged as the largest regional economy by 2018, she noted.
On the other hand, Southern Africa – even including South Africa – is the worst performing major region, with Angola, Mozambique, Zambia and DRC all hit by commodity price declines, while Zimbabwe, eSwatini and Malawi were affected by a combination of commodity prices, drought and Governance issues.
“West Africa looks relatively good, with the regional GDP growing from $600 billion to over $1 trillion and Nigeria expected to rebound in 2019 and beyond,” says Whitehouse.
“Central Africa is the smallest regional economy, but ticks along and is expected to maintain growth of around 3.5% a year – much of it driven by regional gateway Cameroon.”
Whitehouse noted that by 2023, the continent will see five economies of over $100 billion (Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, Angola and Ethiopia); and five more of over $50 billion (Tanzania, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, DRC and Cameroon).
She points out that in many African countries and regions, key development drivers are inextricably linked to corridors – either by design or fortune. “As such, corridor development and ‘anchor tenants’ or projects are once again becoming critical in Africa’s development story.”
Whitehouse identifies several sectors which are key development drivers on the continent: Agriculture, extractives (stranded minerals), urbanisation & rising incomes, industrial, and ICT, telecoms & power. On the point of urbanisation, Whitehouse points out: “Urban areas in Africa comprise 472 million people. That number will double over the next 25 years as migrants push to cities and due to internal city growth. The largest cities grow as fast as 4% annually.”
She describes the urban “middle class” as not yet a stable entity, but a large “floating class” that hovers just above the poverty line, while the lower-middle consumer group added two million people a year in last decade. The upper-middle class remains a relatively small group, but is growing.
“Wealthier Africans are largely urban and are driving consumption of consumer goods and building materials,” Whitehouse says.
Africa’s top import markets remain South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana and Angola, with the key source of supply for all these markets being China. Not surprisingly, China also holds a significant part of the key supplier market share in these countries – 19% in South Africa and Angola and 33% in Nigeria, Kenya and Ghana.
According to Lynn Chamier, event director at dmg events, Africa Trade Week will bring the world to Africa and Africa to the world to source products, discuss issues and trends, and identify opportunities for international trade. More than 11 000 international industry professionals, from 53 countries, as well as more than 500 exhibitors, from more than 40 countries, will gather for the event, which will provide ample opportunity to do business and network.
This year, dmg will introduce a premium “matchmaking” service to assist exhibitors to meet their target market and will set up and facilitate personalised meetings between interested parties.
There will also be a variety of features that visitors can expect to experience at Africa Trade Week, including: The Global Pizza Challenge, Kitchen of the Future, Africa Housekeepers League of Champions, Wine Village, IID Design Pavilion (African Institute of Interior Design) and the DTI/Brand SA pavilion.
Various workshops will also be conducted at the Africa Trade Week, such as the Hospitality Leadership Forum, FoodNext.Africa, the Trade Development Forum, Restaurant Association of South Africa Workshops and South African National Halaal Association Workshops.
Africa Trade Week 2019 will incorporate three leading exhibitions – The Hotel Show Africa, Africa’s Big 7 and SAITEX, as well as their associated conferences and workshops, to create the new home of trade highlighting pan-African business opportunities, products, services, equipment, supplies, innovations, technology and solutions.
Fatura secures a $3 Million pre-series A investment round
Fatura co-Founders (Source: Hossam Ali)
Fatura round was co-led by Sawari Ventures and Arzan VC, with the participation of Egypt Ventures, EFG-EV, The Cairo Angels as well as Khwarizmi Ventures. The B2B marketplace was launched late 2019 and already crossed the 1 Billion EGP yearly GMV milestone, and that’s just in the FMCG sector. Fatura is a mobile application that connects wholesalers & manufacturers with retailers in different industries. The start-up has been operating in the FMCG industry and it is currently piloting in other industries.
During the past year the start-up also extended its reach to more than 25,000 retailers and more than 500 wholesalers and manufacturers across 20 governorates, exchanging more than 10,000 SKUs. Fatura also cracked the surface of financial services by introducing digital lending with focus on retailers financing, aiming to add more services in that area in the near future.
“Fatura’s existing infrastructure has enabled them to expand their offerings to new customers,” commented Hany Al-Sonbaty, Managing Partners at Sawari Ventures, adding that, “the team has demonstrated that they have the vision to identify new opportunities and the prowess and agility to implement and deliver. We are excited to become part of their journey.”
Hossam Ali, Fatura’s CEO, commented on the news saying: “There is a great opportunity in the B2B space in Egypt, that is growing as the players are becoming digitally mature and ready. Collectively, the digital B2B players in the FMCG space capture less than 5% of the market and there is a long way to go. Our conviction is to stay asset-light, be inclusive to all the industry stakeholders and to attract the best on-ground acquisition force across the country”
Fatura has built a strong foundation and infrastructure that enables it to monetize its data and services. The company’s future plans include new services that support the different players in its ecosystem including manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers, multiple digitization initiatives with focus on digital payments and regional expansion into new markets.
“Being part of Fatura’s success story is exciting for us. The FMCG industry is in need of Fatura’s product, which will solve many challenges faced by small retailers. Also, its fintech angle complements the core product and enables retailers to scale their business further with less working capital constraints.” – Hasan J. Zainal, Managing Partner of Arzan Venture Capital
This investment will gear Fatura to extend its services beyond e-commerce and digital lending to optimize the exchange of goods, money and information in the B2B context while focusing on convenience and the different users’ experience.
Business Africa Online, InnoPower and Afrigrants to Host some of the best African, USA Innovators and Investors
Business Africa Online, InnoPower, LLC (USA) and Afrigrants Foundation are set to Host some of the best Innovators, Investors, Business Consultants and Industry Experts in the world at the Going Global Summit with the theme, “Africa: The Next Global Frontier”. The summit is a part of InnoPower Minority Business Week (IMBW) hosted by Innopower, LLC (USA) scheduled to hold from Monday, June 14 to Friday, June 18, 2021 and currently ongoing.
The Going Global Initiative intends to boost a stronger pipeline of awareness, access to Africa’s talent and solutions with these focus areas; Entrepreneurship, Connection and Advocacy. The InnoPower Going Global Summit 2021 is a digital summit and intends to connect Africa to the global economy, starting with the USA. It will attract global business leaders, entrepreneurs, investors, decision and policy makers around the world, especially from Africa and the United States of America (U.S.A). The Summit will feature panel sessions, virtual pitch, awards and networking.
Panel Discussion Topics will cover:
- Positioning African entrepreneurs for global exposure and impact.
- Raising Global Capital: Understanding the Why, When and How.
- Post COVID-19: Exploring US-Africa Investment Opportunities.
Esteemed Guests include:
- Dr. Akintoye Akindele (Nigeria) – Executive Chairman, Platform Capital
- Lawrence Walter (USA) – Vice President, Entrepreneurship at IEDC
- Ayodeji Balogun (Nigeria)– Founder and CEO of Premier Credit
- Lydia Idem (USA) – Founder & Managing Director of FM Capital Group
- Adesuwa Okunbo Rhodes (Nigeria) – Founding Partner & CEO, Aruwa Capital Management
- Nike Anani (Nigeria) – Founder, Nike Anani Practice Ltd
- Ali Hussein Kassim (Kenya) – Tech Executive and Advisor
- Mohamed Aboulnaga (Egypt) – Tech Entrepreneur
- Shila Nieves Burney (USA) – Founder, Zane Venture Fund & Zane Access
- Segun Abiona (Nigeria) – Founder & Innovation Director, Nicole & Giovanni
- Manisha Dookhony (Mauritius) – Economist & Senior Advisor
- Sherif Nessim (Egypt) – Founder & Managing Director, Jedar Capital
- Linda Wayoe (Ghana) – Director, AM Group & Board Member UK-Ghana Chamber of Commerce
- Mariam Kamel (Egypt) – Manager, AUC Angels
- Horesia Nyawade (South Africa) – CIO & Co-Founder, Vuuqa
- Muhammida El Muhajir (Ghana) – Global Brand Strategist
Conceptualised by Afrigrants Foundation, Pitch School Africa is an annual youth entrepreneurship event that trains young entrepreneurs on how to pitch their business ideas to potential investors. Over 200 students across Africa participated in the Pitch School Africa 2021 stream, which has now been narrowed down to just 4 BIG ideas that will be featured at the Grand Finale. The 4 Finalists that will pitch their business ideas at the 2021 InnoPower Going Global are; Gualo Confidence (Nigeria) – Gualocian fish processing, Budani Bulayani (Botswana) – Budzi Products, Favour Adeleke (Nigeria) – Qiqi Farms and Oluwatomilola Mustapha (Nigeria) – Raytreat.
The Pitch Jury are;
- Ronda Taylor, PhD Department Chair Entrepreneur Program, Ivy Tech Community College-Central Indiana.
- Dr. Kristin Burton Asst. Professor, Entrepreneurship, College of Business, Purdue University.
- Joe Albano, Principal Logika International LLC.
The winner will be awarded the grand prize of $5000 with a one year mentorship from the finest business developers across the world.
Over the past 12 months, businesses have faced remarkable challenges due to global economic meltdown and the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. Many ventures were forced to shut their doors through legislation and other circumstances. Some managed to survive by thinking out of the box and adapting to the changing and dire times. Business Africa Online (BAO) with the support of InnoPower, LLC (USA) will be recognising and awarding three (3) African resilient startups that have pulled out all the steps to grow back better through the pandemic in Africa. The awardees will get a support grant of $500 each with an acceleration program led by global business developers.
“Our strategic partnership with InnoPower, LLC (USA) is to support and further drive its Going Global Initiatives here in Africa. Also to reaffirm our commitment to connect African entrepreneurs and businesses with US-based investors. We are inspired and motivated everyday by the incredible African (Social) entrepreneurs and investors within our community and their desire to impact the world positively.” says Alaba Ayinuola, Founder & CEO of Business Africa Online
To register for this virtual summit, please visit bit.ly/InnoPowerGoingGlobal2021
AI for Good Global Summit founder Stephen Ibaraki confirmed as AI Expo Africa 2021 keynote speaker
AI for Good Global Summit founder, Stephen Ibaraki (Source: AI Expo Africa)
AI for Good Global Summit founder, Chairman of the AI for Good Outreach Committee, industry analyst, venture capitalist and serial entrepreneur Stephen Ibaraki has been confirmed as a keynote speaker for AI Expo Africa 2021 ONLINE which takes place 7th to 9th September.
Ibaraki is the first VIP keynote speaker to be confirmed for AI Expo Africa 2021 ONLINE. In his keynote address, entitled, “5th Machine Age Driving Digital Reshaping” he intends to explore the “Society 5.0” and “Smart Humanity”.
Ibaraki who is a 16 time recipient of the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award, most recently in the Artificial Intelligence (AI) category, is also the chairman and managing general partner of REDDS Capital. In addition to more than 300 awards and recognitions as well as over 300 global engagements impacting over $100-trillion in sustainable investments, Ibaraki is also a contributor for IT World Canada and Forbes on issues around AI.
Ibaraki’s keynote abstract states, “In popular stories about Chaos Theory, the wing beats of a butterfly in Geneva, are connected to the violent storms in your hometown in Africa. Global ecosystems, all interconnected thus force multiplied and amplified, are at an historical inflection point. These are founded on technology acceleration, with more disruption in 5 years, than the last 10,000 years. This Digital Reshaping will forever change governments, industry, academia, education, investments, startups, media, society, culture, our lives and our children’s future. What will the world look like, advanced by Smart Humanity, Society 5.0, 5th Machine Age, AI and innovation trends addressing global challenges and opportunities? What are the exponential change making innovations you must track, implement, and resources you must use to ensure success and not failure during these chaotic next five years?
Now entering it’s fourth successful year, AI Expo Africa is Africa’s largest B2B / B2G AI, RPA and 4IR smart tech trade event and conference, with the 2021 edition building to be the biggest yet with over 5000 delegates registering interest and expected to join the three-day online event.
Dr Nick Bradshaw, founder of AI Expo Africa and CEO of AI Media Group commented, “It’s a real honour to welcome Stephen as one of our VIP keynote speakers. We have been working with the ITU, Geneva since 2019 around partnering with the global AI4Good movement and the Africa region and this is another great commitment towards growing collaborations around AI4Good in our region. This announcement follows the recent conclusion of the first African focused ITU AI4Good Innovation Factory Challenge that received 44 applications from 12 African countries & 5 finalists using AI-powered innovation for diverse sectors in Africa covering Fintech, Agritech, Cleantech, and Insurtech.”
Over 30 organisations have so far signed up to exhibit at the expo. These include headline event partner Intel, Darktrace, Future Tech, Automation Anywhere partner 1ai, The Embassy of Switzerland in South Africa, InstaDeep, Aizatron, IBA Group, Zindi, Versus, Comparisure, Robotiq AI Africa, ecosystem Ai, Cognizance, Inspired Testing, Atura, Amathuba AI, COGO People Analytics, Elzware, WizzPass, Fliptin, Kosa AI, Learning Machines, Social Lab, Ashanti AI, and Curacel. In all about 80 speakers will make up the speaker list at AI Expo Africa 2021 ONLINE, with more keynotes set to be announced in the coming weeks.