• Saturday, July 20, 2024
businessday logo


Three growth drivers African businesses should embrace

The winning formula for African businesses

African businesses that will thrive post-COVID must imbibe three critical attributes including good governance, partnerships, and technology said Shola David-Borha, CEO of Africa Regions at the Standard Bank Group, in a speech at BusinessDay African business convention, held virtually on Tuesday.

David-Borha said that whatever your level of business, your governance structure must be improved, it is a continuum and must always be strengthened.

“Good governance demands that the interest of all stakeholders – government, investors, customers, etc – are taken care of in a manner that is consistent with the policies set up by the organisation,”

David-Borha said there are trillions of dollars looking for a home and they need a well-run governance structure. This will attract capital, build resilience and allow the company to operate sustainably.

On partnerships, the bank executive said in thinking of the future of African business, partnerships are needed for success.

She said that Standard Bank has achieved success through partnerships building strong compliance with regulatory requirements, robust IT infrastructure, in-country professional teams, ethical core investors, and thorough due diligence to achieve this.

“It is important you chose partners that share your values,” counselled David-Borha.

“We must strengthen partnerships with the right stakeholders. Covid-19 has taught us that we need each other and we cannot solve the problem of the world alone. Private sector-led economic growth, enabled by market-friendly policies should be the template for public-private partnership in Africa,” she said.

Read Also: Foreigners shun Nigerian bonds for nine straight months amid FX uncertainties

David-Borha said that the digital world has driven technology innovations in Africa. “Our response to unique challenges in Africa has set us apart as innovators and leaders. We have seen increased investment in Fintechs that tries to meet the needs of people.

The bank executive called on every African business to leverage technology if they are going to scale their operation,

“Technology is not nice to have, it is a must-have,” she said.

She said that proactive attention to developing digital and mobile-based solutions to challenges around us is a key driver for growth and

Citing a Mastercard recently published a study on the opportunities provided by COVID-1, David-Borha said Standard bank, Mastercard and Google, collaborated to help small business owners move operations online, accept digital payments, and therefore be positioned to attract more customers.

“These drivers, are critical enablers for every African business to build a sustainable operation.

The African growth story has been slowed down by the COVID-19 pandemic but has not been derailed. Forecasts including that of the World Bank show that there are still growth opportunities.

COVID-19 has prompted a shift towards local production and self-sufficiency due to the disruption to global supply chains. She said this provides an opportunity to local manufacturers which will drive growth in agriculture, manufacturing, and their respective ecosystems.

“In looking at the future, we must turn the challenges our continent faces to opportunities,” David-Borha said

However as Africa gears up for recovery, new opportunities will come to the fore for businesses that are proactive and are purpose-driven.