Washington, DC — Gallup World Poll is hosting Ambassador Robin Renee Sanders' Washington, D. C. launch and discussion of her new book "The Rise of Africa's Small & Medium Size Enterprises" (SMEs) and the role these small businesses are playing in the development of the Sub Saharan African Region, particularly as regards to their contribution to gross domestic product (GDP) and growing the middle class.
The discussion and book launch focused on what Africa small businesses are doing, their insta-impact in many sectors particularly as a result of technology and its sister benefits of knowledgment management and mobility. Gallup World Poll was pleased to contribute key data from its Gallup Analytics for the books' analysis of the enabling environment in which many of African small businesses operate, including the challenges they are facing.
Gallup Managing Partner Jon Clifton commented that "this event is one in a series of programs we have done with Ambassador Sanders on Africa over the last few years which shines a light on important issues for Sub Saharan Africa from politics to elections, to improvements in governance to the challenges that remain." The Africa small business story is one of the good news stories, and Gallup World Poll data helps to tell this good news story," he noted.
Sanders expressed her continued desire to raise the profile of Africa and also present a different view of the Continent here in the U.S, which she noted this book tries to do by underscoring the creativity of many of the "business-aiding-development," small and medium size enterprises in the region. "They are defining the region's future and responding to many of the age-old development issues with new technology solutions," Sanders explained, "but in order for Africa SMEs to continue on a positive path, there needs to be a comprehensive and global strategy – one I like to call an "Africa SMEs Strategic Plan," so we can ensure that the small businesses that exist now continue to proposer, and that we support the new ones coming online in a more comprehensive manner."
The book notes that assisting women and youth, in particular, with more creative financing for their businesses, and ways to measure their valuation, including using their social media audience, are some examples. Invited guests included, the immediate past Africa Assistant Secretary of State Linda Thomas Greenfield, Ambassadors of Mozambique, Rwanda, Cameroon, Republic of Congo, Gabon and the Economic Minister of the Embassy of South Africa, along with other leading notable small businesses leaders, think tanks, NGOS, and advocates for the sector.
Book Summary: The book's Introduction is by renowned civil rights leader Ambassador Andrew Young, and the Foreword is by Africa's leading businessman, Mr. Aliko Dangote. The book discusses the determination of Africa's SMEs to step into the void left by 40 years of post-independence development efforts that had little impact on overall poverty reduction and job creation in the region. Some of the key chapters include a focus on: recommendations on what donors, the African Union, African Governments, and the new U.S. Administration can do to further assist Africa SMEs; the "China Factor," in the region and its efforts in the SME sector, what African Stock markets are doing to help, and most importantly highlighting the range of things, through new technology (e.g.,3-D printing and drones), Africa small businesses are doing to turn the tide on development and job creation. See these stories on Allafrica.com for more details about the book: Sanders' New Book Notes the Insta-impact of Africa's Small Businesses; Rise of Africa's Small & Medium Size Enterprises - Robin Sanders; Business Section Nigeria's Guardian.
Bio Note: Ambassador Sanders is the former United States Ambassador to Nigeria and the Republic of Congo and remains a thought-leader on Africa and Africa-US relations having served as a senior career U.S. diplomat. She is currently the CEO of the FEEEDS Advocacy Initiative and FE3DS, LLC. Also on May 11, 2017 Sanders received the Minority Enterprise Association 2017 Award for her advocacy work and efforts in support of Africa Small and Medium Size Enterprises.
Bio Note: Jon Clifton is a Managing Partner at Gallup and a member of the company's Executive Committee. His mission is to help the world's 7 billion citizens be heard through the Gallup World Poll, a 100-year initiative in 160 countries to measure the "will" of every person in the world. He is responsible for the company's global government work and is a member of the Public Release Committee, the governance board that oversees and maintains Gallup's public release standards for data, research and methodology.