A new CDC-commissioned report from the Africa Programme at Chatham House identifies policy options for governments, businesses, and investors to support the scaling up of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in four sub-Saharan African countries - Tanzania, Uganda, Nigeria and Zambia. It highlights what's needed to help businesses grow to become important in their region and provide formal jobs to rapidly expanding young populations.
With at least 15 million people entering the labour market every year across Africa, it's vital that African businesses grow and create the quantity and quality of jobs needed. To produce this report, Developing Businesses of Scale in Sub-Saharan Africa: Insights from Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia, researchers conducted interviews with owners and managers of over 60 businesses across the four countries.
CDC's Murray Grant, who will be speaking at the launch of the report on Monday 11 Spetember, said: "This report highlights some inspiring stories of individuals successfully growing and scaling their businesses in Africa. But it also acknowledges that if we’re to tackle the chronic need for formal jobs, we need to understand the practical constraints holding back the continent."
Murray picked out what he sees as one of the main constraints to business growth in Africa: "What the report reflects, and we know this from our experience, is that a shortage of skilled management is a large barrier to business growth. There is plenty of potential on the continent but talent needs to be properly harnessed if small and medium-sized companies are to scale up and create the quantity and quality of jobs needed."
The report's launch will take place at Chatham House in London, where Murray will be joined by the authors of the publication; Rory Stewart, Minister of State, Department for International Development and Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office; and Tony Elumelu, Chairman of Heirs Holdings.
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CDC Group plc is the UK’s development finance institution. Wholly owned by the UK Government, it invests in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia with the aim of supporting economic development to create jobs. CDC takes a flexible approach and provides capital in all its forms, including equity, debt, mezzanine and guarantees, to meet businesses’ needs and achieve development impact. CDC has net assets of £4.8bn.