Susie Kitchens speaks at launch of Companies to Inspire Africa 2019 report in Nairobi

Susie Kitchens Companies to Inspire Africa 2019 Kenya launch
Susie Kitchens at the launch of the Companies to Inspire Africa 2019 report. Photo: Twitter/UKinKenya

British Deputy High Commissioner Susie Kitchens was among the speakers at the launch of the Companies to Inspire Africa 2019 report in Nairobi yesterday.

The second edition of the London Stock Exchange’s report lists 360 companies from 32 African nations. It identifies the “most dynamic” growth businesses across the continent and revealed that the average compound annual growth rate (CAGR) was 46% over three years – up from 16% in 2017.

The companies featured range from small entrepreneurial businesses (SMEs) through to well-established corporations.

Seven major sectors are represented, spanning Agriculture (53 versus 46 in 2017), Financial Services (48 versus 66 in 2017), Industry (77 versus 81 in 2017), Technology and Telecoms (51 in 2018 – down from 56 last time), Consumer Services (79 – up from 49 in 2017), Renewable Energy (21 versus 29 before), and Healthcare and Education (31 today versus 19).

Agriculture remains an important sector for the continent as a whole with just shy of 15% of all the companies those featured.

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One standout highlight from the report was the number of companies led by women which has increased to 23 per cent, almost double the proportion for 2017’s report. In particular, senior female executives are having a big impact are Healthcare & Education and Financial Services, with 39% and 31% being led by women CEOs, respectively. And in Ghana, 10 out of the 20 companies featured are led by women.

Speaking at the launch Ms Kitchens said: “We, the UK, are part of your innovation story. Through our high-level Science Board with the Education Ministry, we steward £100m of UK Science and Research funding in Kenya, supporting African solutions to African challenges.

Susie Kitchens Companies to Inspire Africa 2019 Kenya launch
Susie Kitchens speaking at launch of Companies to Inspire Africa 2019 report. Photo: Twitter/UKinKenya

“When the British PM Theresa May visited last year, she announced £3.5bn of new African investment from (UK development finance institution) CDC aiming to mobilise an additional £4bn of private investment.

“Kenya’s entrepreneurial hustle is maturing into a highly investable ecosystem. We are supporting foundations of this ecosystems through CDC funded infrastructure and Prosperity fund projects and our support of improving ease of doing business,” she added.

Continuing her address, the Deputy High Commissioner said: “We provide links to the greatest financial Centre in the world, the City of London represented today here by the London Stock Exchange. ‘Doing well by doing good’ is rapidly becoming a reality in Kenya, it’s creating a wealth of opportunities.”

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