The second edition of Companies to Inspire Africa 2019 Report by London Stock Exchange (LSE) is out. This impressive report lists 360 privately-held companies operating in 32 different African countries. It identifies Africa’s most inspirational and dynamic private, high-growth companies to a global market.
Business growth across Africa has greatly improved from an average compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16 percent in 2017, to the current 46 percent in three years. The report represented the seven most important industry sectors and featured companies both small and established. These companies ranged from SMEs to giant African corporations.
Nigeria led the countries in the report producing 97 companies. Kenya came second with 66 firms in the report while Uganda provided 31. The three major sectors of Agriculture, Industry and Consumer Services accounted for more than half of all companies featured. Coming second with more than a quarter of companies represented were the sectors of Technology and Telecoms together with Financial Services. Additionally, Renewable Energy together with Health and Education sectors also registered a significant representation.
Best Sectors Inspiring African Growth
These are the represented sectors in the Companies to Inspire Africa, with their respective number of featured companies;
- Consumer Services had 79 companies, up from 49 in 2017.
- Industry had 77 companies, down from 81 in 2017.
- Agriculture with 53 companies, up from 46 in 2017).
- Technology & Telecoms with 51 companies, down from 56 previously.
- Financial Services with 48 companies, down from 66 in 2017.
- Healthcare & Education with 31 companies shooting up from 19.
- Renewable Energy had 21 companies dropping from 29 in 2017.
African-focused trade groups and investors, African government representatives and the CEOs of the featured companies, and others graced the launch of this 148-page report. The CEO of LSE Group, David Schwimmer was joined by International Development Secretary of Britain, Penny Mordaunt in welcoming the guests.
“Africa is going through a period of enormous change. And, with five of the world’s fasting-growing economies are African and by 2050 a quarter of the world’s population will live there, this growth presents unique opportunities for us all,” Mordaunt, who is also the MP for Portsmouth North, commented. She also noted that if African-initiated dreams were combined with British expertise, more investments and jobs would ensure for Africa and United Kingdom.
Companies to Inspire Africa 2019 Led By Women CEOs
An analysis of the 2019 Companies to Inspire Africa report and the sectors involved in this growth reveals some impressive trends. The average number of employees in these companies is 363 while CAGR stands at 25 percent in three years.
The number of companies led by women almost doubled this year accounting for 23 percent of the featured firms. Senior female management had the greatest bang in Healthcare & Education sector where 39 percent of companies have women CEOs. This was closely followed by Financial Services sector where women are leading as CEOs in 31 percent of companies represented. To illustrate this even more, out of the 20 Ghanaian companies in the report, 10 of them are led by women.
Companies to Inspire Africa by Regions
This report shows and reaffirms the West-East axis dominance in Africa. As noted before, the two leading countries came from the two African divides of West and East. Nigeria represented West Africa and Kenya did it for East Africa. In total, Western Africa had about 36 percent of companies (130) while Eastern Africa had about 41 percent (147).
The rest of Africa is also well represented in the report. This is because Southern Africa provided 47 companies, while Northern Africa brought 26. Additionally, Central Africa gave 6 companies to sum it up.
“These high growth companies have the potential to transform the African economy and become tomorrow’s job creators. We are committed to helping companies realize that potential and we are pleased to highlight and celebrate the company success stories behind one of the world’s fastest growing markets,” Schwimmer commented.
Tanzania Electric Train Commence Trial In July
Tanzania is reaching for another economic milestone. The government announced that it was it will be testing its maiden self-funded electric train. The train which will run at 160 km/h will be one of Africa’s fastest high-speed trains. The train will also provide a cheaper means of transport to the citizens.
Tanzania is set to test its self funded electric train in July 2019. The high speed train is tipped to be one of Africa’s fastest at a speed of 160mph.https://t.co/d2Z6EEmyPG
— CGTN Africa (@cgtnafrica) May 4, 2019
Further details show that the phase running from Dar es Salaam to Morogoro which has 6 in between stations and stretches 300 kilometers will commence operation in December. The trial trains in phase one will be three passenger trains. However, these trains will conduct daily round trips covering the two cities. Each passenger train will be making a minimum of 9 trips per day.
Difference between Tanzania electric train and regular train
The speed train will make use of concrete sleepers. This allows the railway network to carry as much as 35 tonnes of load per axle and increase its durability. Consequently, the rails should be able to last up to 40 years before any major repairs. However, the train bridge can last up to 100 years.
Speaking at the historic launch of the flash butt welding of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) at Soga, outside Dar es Salaam in Coastal region, Eng. Issac Kamwele, the Minister for Works, Transport and Communications said the trial of the speedy electric train will happen in July. However, the trial will only cover a section of the SGR. In comparison to other country’s SGR, Tanzania’s will be fasters. Kenya and South Africa’s SGR can only reach a speed of 120 km/h
The impact this project will have on the economy
Tanzania government is making great strides to boost the economy of the nation. Recently, the government proposed plans to build cable cars for Mount Kilimanjaro. This is projected to double the current 50,000 annual tourists. However, not many think it is a good idea. A few groups think it will lead to the loss of thousands of jobs.
The $1.9 billion (Tshs 4.3 trillion) project has already created over 26,000 job opportunities. However, the government is optimistic that the second and subsequent phases will create more opportunities once fully functional. The first railway lines in Tanganyika (previously German East Africa) were built after Zanzibar’s first tramway. The Ethio-Djibouti SGR project is currently the longest and first trans-boundary electric railway in Africa.
Tanzanian Government Considering Cable Car For Mount Kilimanjaro And Here Is How People Reacted
In a bid to boost the number of tourists visiting the East African nation, the Tanzanian government is considering putting cable car on Mount Kilimanjaro. Consequently, the government is currently in talks with a Western and Chinese company to actualize this project. Mount Kilimanjaro holds the record as Africa’s tallest mountain.
According to the deputy minister for tourism, Constantine Kanyasu, the current 50,000 tourists that climb Mount Kilimanjaro could double with a cable car. This is because children and the physically challenged will have a chance to climb the mountain too. However, the Tanzania National Parks Authority (TANAPA) is carrying out a feasibility study on the possible routes. In a report on Reuters, Kanyasu said,
“We are still doing a feasibility study to see if this project works. There are two companies, one from China and another from a Western country that have shown interest. This won’t be the first time in the world, cable cars are there in Sweden, Italy, [and] the Himalayas.”
Impact of tourism to Tanzania’s economy
Tourism is Tanzania’s major source of foreign exchange earnings. Tanzania witnessed a 7.13% increase in tourism in 2018, particularly those visiting Mount Kilimanjaro. Consequently, Tanzania earned $2.43 billion in 2018. This is a boost from the country’s $2.19 billion earning in 2017. Mount Kilimanjaro is nearly 5,000 meters high and has three volcanic cones. Other tourist attractions in Tanzania are wildlife safaris and beaches.
The Tanzanian government is still reviewing business plans, profits and potential investors. There are lots of options for the routes and the length is yet to be finalized. The tourism mister said the government will also be looking at cost and engineering issues as well as environmental impact assessment.
Not everyone is happy with the idea of Mount Kilimanjaro cable car
Not everyone is in support of the idea of having a cable car on Mount Kilimanjaro. Spearheading the anti-cable car idea is the Tanzania Porters’ Organization. Guide groups and porters who accompany tourists up the mountain fear that the building of a cable car will reduce the number of climbers. There are nearly 20,000 porters working between Meru and Mount Kilimanjaro. Throwing more light to the harm this innovation would cause was the head of Tanzania Porters’ Organization, Lioshiye Mollel. Mollel said,
“One visitor from the U.S. can have a maximum of 15 people behind him, of which 13 are porters, cook and a guide. All these jobs will be affected by a cable car. We are of the view that the mountain should be left as it is.”
On Twitter, @AndyTraenkner said, “I’ve been fortunate to summit that amazing mountain twice, so far. Scarring its natural beauty with a cable car is a crime”
I've been fortunate to summit that amazing mountain twice, so far. Scarring its natural beauty with a cable car is a crime.
— Andy (@AndyTraenkner) May 8, 2019
Kuwait Based NAS Expands It’s Pledged $50 Million Africa Operation Into Mozambique
The National Aviation Services (NAS), an aviation services provider based in Kuwait, has added Mozambique to its network. This is part of the company’s initiatives to expand in emerging markets. Starting from July 2019, NAS will start offering cargo and ground handling services in Liberia and Mozambique. NAS together with its local JV partner, GLS, has already started building a cargo terminal in Monrovia, Liberia.
NAS Investments in Africa
The addition of Mozambique and Liberia to its network shows NAS’ commitment in its investments in Africa. The company has stated that it plans to invest 44 million Euros—an equivalent of US$50m—in Africa. The $50m investment in Africa will span a period of three years. Mozambique is the first on the list of beneficiaries of these investments.
NAS’ activities in Mozambique will include import and export cargo handling. Furthermore, the company will offer storage for shipments passenger and engineering services. Additional services include aircraft maintenance and ramp handling. These services are not restricted to Mozambique’s capital at Maputo Mavalane International. The services will be provided at all airports in Mozambique.
The new investment will also incorporate investments in human capital. With the increasing demand for air transport in the region, there is a need to recruit more local employees in the sector. NAS has stated that it will recruit and train local employees to ensure secure and quality services. The company estimates that it will hire 1,000 Mozambicans to join their global operations.
Cargo Terminal in Monrovia
Meanwhile, NAS has already broke ground to build a cargo terminal in Liberia. The company has partnered with Global Logistics Services Inc. to build the cargo terminal at Roberts International Airport. The two companies will build a 2,700 square meter cargo terminal. The name of the project is Roberts Air Cargo Center–RACC.
The center will support export supply in Liberia, as well as improve cargo operations to meet international standards. Previous forecasts had indicated that there is a demand for around 3,500 square meters in air freight. Construction of the cargo terminal is set to be completed by April 2020.
According to Peter Malcom King, chairman of GLS-NAS, RACC will be the first of its kind in Liberia. The center will provide the much-needed infrastructure to improve trade barriers, boost Liberia’s position as the hub in the region, and enhance air cargo supply. The freight terminal will feature temperature controlled storage, dangerous goods storage, racking for storage, five loading docks, mail area, and a vault. The Liberia Airport Authority will also develop a separate freighter stand.
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