The African Business Roundtable's vision for Africa as an investment center
The African Business Roundtable (ABR), a group of visionary business leaders who saw very early the need for Africa to position itself well in the global market to attract investments to the continent, has marked this year its 32nd year of existence. Founded with the primary objective of boosting the African private sector, the ABR has successfully positioned itself at the forefront of the global movement for the development of Africa and her people.
Recognizing the many steps that are needed, ABR has built a multi-step process and set it in progress. First off, the organization plans on re-establishing itself on a grassroots basis by building and strengthening its presence, relevance and visibility per country. The intention is to achieve this by creating Country Ofﬁces that would act as annexe and direct point of contact with businesspersons of each particular country and its respective private sector.
“The strategy is to apply a “bottoms up” approach in our bid for private sector engagements and eventual developments. We picture this plan creating a direct connection to our intended target for us at all levels. That is engagement at country level, sub-regional level, regional level, continental level and ﬁnally spreading outwards into the global business sphere. Properly executed, every voice both on our organisation’s side and that of the Africans we are representing would be clearly heard. With this, we also hope to foster a strong sense of unity amongst Africans while lending a strong and clear voice to the continent’s private sector,” ABR 30th Anniversary Commemorative Book.
“As big and inﬂuential as we are, the saying that no man is an island comes to mind. We recognise that there are certain areas we may not yet cover. And so, we plan on collaborating and cooperating very closely with pan- African, continental/regional business associations that hold similar missions and objectives with us. This is necessary as one of our standing mandate is unity, the kind that brings Africans together with the sole objective of positive growth. Using MOUs, we believe that many a mutually beneﬁcial relationships can be created and shared with other organisations. One of such programmes is the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which is the African Union’s initiatives aimed at creating a single continent-wide market for goods and services. It would hopefully promote the movement of capital and persons of skills between participant countries. The AfCFTA will bring together 55 African countries with a combined population of 1.2 billion people and a combined GDP of more than US$3.4 trillion, a kind of initiative that ABR would very much like to be a part of,”ABR 30th Anniversary Commemorative Book.
With a robust ﬁve-year business plan, ABR plans to implement short, mid and long-term strategic objectives that would all lend to the eventual growth and development of the African economy. We plan on developing programmes that enable indigenous African enterprises in the private sector to build capacity that allows for these business persons to be relevant stakeholders in the local (country) and African economic space. Using this, we hope that these business persons are also able to acquire skills, expertise and knowledge to operate and seek opportunities in the global business arena. Indigenous entrepreneurs can develop to become global brands and notable business champions. Also building on the capacity these organisations and businesses that our initiatives helped foster, we hope that they can forge formidable business partnerships with ﬁrms and entrepreneurs from the more developed and emerging economies. All this would be in a bid to leverage on the expertise, ﬁnancial resources and technology of international partners.
The future of the continent is at a crossroads — a point where every decision now carries with it more impact than ever before. Our organisation, the African Business Roundtable knows this. We have identiﬁed the situation of things and we wish to help make all the difference in the development of the African economy. As our mandate has always been, we intend to be around to help guide this new direction of the African private sector. ABR wishes to push towards a place of forward-thinking and self- sufﬁcient growth. This is a pivotal stage in the coming years for the African economy.
About the African Business Roundtable
The African Development Bank Group set up the African Business Roundtable in 1990. The African Business Roundtable is Africa’s foremost and continent-wide association of businesses and business leaders. It is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit private sector funded organization, committed to fostering African private sector-led economic growth and social development in Africa.
About the African Business Roundtable
The African Development Bank Group set up the African Business Roundtable in 1990. Today the ABR is Africa’s foremost and continent-wide association of businesses and business leaders, and is the representative of the African Business Society to the United Nations. An independent, non-partisan, non-profit private sector funded organization, The African Business Roundtable is an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC) and is the only organization representing the African Private Sector within ECOSOC.