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As we all buckle down to address the new economy in the UK, under a new King, a new Prime Minister and a new Cabinet, the post-pandemic experience suggests we cannot rely on business as usual. So, each of us, as individuals, must resolve to take such action as may be necessary for us to safeguard our families, our businesses, our communities and the well-being of our country.

At BABA (British African Business Alliance) we have been looking at the opportunities of Africa for over 15 years and presenting opportunities to UK companies for much of that time. Our considered view is that Africa needs to change from being a ‘resource supplier’, into becoming a ‘wealth creator’. There are many reasons behind this but, in this article, I would like to suggest the reasons that should make sense to businesses in the South West of England.

In Devon, there are something like 5,000 business professionals with links into Africa. These people are spread across the county and represent a fragmented community, often working independently, and without the aggregated advantage of collaboration.

As experts in their own sectors, some are world-class and well-able to advise and consult for and with others about the opportunities of some fascinating new markets.

As technology suppliers, they seek new markets for their products and often are looking at the sales of finished goods. For both trade and consumer products the growing middle class of African countries is an attractive potential market. What is more important is the replication of production capabilities close to the raw materials, reducing the cost of production, maintaining the quality, empowering new workers and generating new opportunities, beyond what can be achieved within the UK’s economic matrix.

As risk managers, many of these professionals know and understand the issues of business in Africa but, have a vested interest in making a project work, since it gives them a long-term business opportunity that they would not find at home. UK technology, international finance, and African resources… from milk to fish, to fruit and vegetables the fertile scrubland of Africa remains untouched, disorganised and unproductive.
Africa is not for commercial virgins, nor is it for the selfish. It is for the business adventurers who have a strong constitution, the ability to adapt and a recognition that the world we live in needs to evolve. Why force our own resources to work harder when untouched resources lie undeveloped… whether your heritage is in tin or gold, in livestock or processed foods, in services or construction…. a continent that will double in population in the next 25 years provides opportunities that have yet to enter your dreams…

The just concluded CHOGM 2022 summit in Rwanda has been a success and demonstrated how Africa is open for business.
Africa is open for business, so are we here in the Southwest. Reach out to us either via SWBC contacts or visit our website and we will be able to respond to your queries: