FSDH, Proshare, Mouka Ltd, 357 Other Firms to Inspire Africa in 2019

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By Dipo Olowookere

The London Stock Exchange (NSE) on Wednesday said a total of 360 companies operating in 32 countries in Africa under seven major sectors have been identified to be the continent’s hotcakes in 2019.

In the report titled ‘Companies to Inspire Africa 2019’, it was said that Nigeria led with 97 companies, while Kenya followed with 66 organisations.

According to the report, 23 percent of the companies are led by women, almost double the proportion in the 2017 report, with standout sectors having senior female executives in Healthcare & Education and Financial Services.

The report pointed out that the fastest growing sectors are Financial Services and Renewable Energy with revenue growth rates of 70 percent and 66 percent respectively.

In addition, Consumer Services was the most represented sector with 79 companies from 20 countries this year, reflecting the growth of sub-sectors such as Consumer Goods, Food & Beverages, Leisure & Tourism, Media and Retail, and the growing middle class in Africa.

However, Agriculture remained an important sector for the continent with 53 companies, almost 15 percent of those featured.

The report identified that Nigeria further built on its leading position established in the 2017 Report with strong representation from the Industry and Technology & Telecom sectors, while the East-West African axis dominated this year’s report with 130 companies from Western Africa and 147 from Eastern Africa.

The report noted that the companies in this year’s report were creating significant employment opportunities across Africa with each company employing an average of 363 people.

Some of the companies from Nigeria listed were Afriland Properties Plc, ARM Life Plc, BudgIT Foundation, Co-Creation Hub Ltd, Eat ‘N’ Go Ltd, Ensure Insurance Plc, Farmcrowdy Ltd, FSDH Merchant Bank Ltd, Interswitch Ltd, Jumia, Lagoon Hospitals Group and Leadway Assurance Company Ltd.

Others were MainOne Cable Company Nigeria Ltd, Mouka Ltd, Niger Delta Exploration and Production Plc, Olori Cosmetics, Proshare Nigeria Ltd, PZ Cussons Nigeria Plc, RenMoney MFB Ltd, Seven-Up Bottling Company Plc, St. Nicholas Hospital Ltd, Swift Networks Ltd, SystemSpecs Ltd, Terragon Ltd, Wakanow.com Ltd and Whogohost Ltd.

Commenting, the CEO of the LSE, Mr David Schwimmer, explained that, “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.”

He added that, “It is particularly encouraging to see the increasing influence of women in leadership roles in these fast-growing companies, playing a pivotal role in shaping the future of African business.

“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.”

For Pierre Guislain, Vice President, Private Sector, Infrastructure and Industrialization, African Development Bank Group, “Through this partnership around Companies to Inspire Africa, we are joining efforts to build an information base to showcase African growth SMEs to a global investor audience. We also hope to encourage African enterprises to trade and invest with one another, create stronger value chains and expand into new markets. On behalf of the African Development Bank, I extend my congratulations to all the companies featured in this edition, along with our thanks to London Stock Exchange Group for the excellent collaboration on this important initiative.”

Rob Withagen, CEO and Co-Founder Asoko Insight, added that, “Access to Africa’s growth markets is increasingly a strategic priority for investors, multinationals and governments. However, aligning available investor capital to Africa’s private sector – particularly the wider middle market of growth companies – remains a challenge.

“The ‘Companies to Inspire Africa’ report makes an essential contribution to closing this ‘middle market’ gap. As a partner in the initiative, we have witnessed the enthusiasm among thousands of local corporates to set aside their reservations and share detailed insights into their promising businesses. Their participation sets the benchmark for transparency and performance in Africa’s corporate ecosystem, and will undoubtedly support accelerated investment into these exciting markets.”

Also, Nick O’Donohoe, Chief Executive Officer, CDC Group, said, “CDC Group has more than 70 years’ experience investing for growth in Africa so it’s a privilege to champion more than 360 high performing businesses recognised in today’s publication. These companies are led by some of the continent’s most dynamic management teams who are shaping the future of their industries.

“CDC plays a large role in backing Africa’s most ambitious businesses. We were proud to invest $180 million in the continent’s largest independent fibre and cloud provider, Liquid Telecom, who will deliver broadband connectivity to support SMEs from Cairo to Cape Town.

“With a further £3.5 billion to invest across Africa over the next three years, we plan to partner with many more strong management teams to help drive growth and prosperity through socially responsible business. We are thrilled to support the London Stock Exchange Group in highlighting the breadth of commercial talent and tenacity from Africa’s thriving business community.”

David Simonson, Managing Partner, Instinctif Partners, said, “Working with the Companies to Inspire Africa 2019 is truly inspiring – they reflect the entrepreneurial energy and skills present across the African continent and across all sectors. Instinctif is proud of its long-standing role in advising African businesses on their positioning and communications with stakeholders in their home markets and internationally, and we are looking forward to supporting this year’s cohort of companies in CTIA 2019 as they build on their business success.”

Uyi Akpata, West Africa Regional Senior Partner, PwC, said, “We are extremely honored to partner again with London Stock Exchange Group for the second ‘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.” Tony Edwards, Partner and Head of Africa, Stephenson Harwood, said, “The quality and diversity of the companies identified in this excellent report is striking and gives a great snapshot of the evolution of African business. As a leading international law firm, with a wealth of experience advising companies, entrepreneurs, banks and Governments in Africa and international businesses investing there, we are incredibly pleased to be a part of this initiative. It provides an opportunity both to recognise the achievements of African companies and entrepreneurs and to help them and others on the next stage of their journey.”

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