5 June 2017

Africa: Two Business Groups Aim at One Big Win for Africa

Photo: AllAfrica
A construction project in Windhoek, Namibia, where the government welcomes investors to provide expertise and capital to grow the economy and create prosperity.

Cape Town — Two organizations aimed at strengthening the productivity, profitability and transformative power of the private sector in Africa have announced a strategic partnership.  Invest Africa connects investment capital to African opportunities, and the Business Council for Africa (BCA) connects a growing network of over 250 African businesses and entrepreneurs.

The new collaboration was unveiled by fifth-generation South African and Invest Africa founder Rob Hersov, who co-founded its sister company African Capital Investments, and Nigeria-born Arnold Ekpe, the honorary BCA president, who built west Africa's Ecobank into a pan-African powerhouse with over a thousand branches in more than two dozen countries. They were joined in the announcement by their colleagues Barbro Mutombo Ciakudia, who manages investment missions at Invest Africa, and BCA's Karen Taylor, who will manage day-to-day operations as CEO of the new alliance.

In an interview with AllAfrica, Hersov said that while Invest Africa and BCA are small organizations in the global investment arena, by combining forces in a fragmented environment of African business organizations, they can offer "big reach, big connectivity, big information flow and incredible deal flow." Following is today's announcement.

Business Council for Africa and Invest Africa Announce Strategic Partnership
London (June 5, 2017) - Invest Africa and the Business Council for Africa today announce that they will be collaborating in a new partnership from the 1st of June.

BCA has been established for over 60 years with a strong heritage and reputation for connecting the private sector with trade and investment opportunities across the continent. Based in London, it has representatives throughout Africa and a membership base of over 200 companies, ranging from multi-nationals to leading entrepreneurs.

IA was founded in 2013 by Robert Hersov as a platform for business leaders, investors and entrepreneurs. With offices in London, New York, Dubai, Johannesburg, Cape Town and Geneva it has established an invaluable network of decision makers across top global organisations.

Both organisations maintain their belief that a responsible and profitable private sector has a crucial role to play in Africa's development. It is in this spirit that they continue to advise and assist their members.

In the UK, there are a number of independent companies, associations and foundations promoting trade and investment into Africa. All of these membership organisations or networks are providing similar services and in many cases, are competing. This does not achieve the common goal of promoting Africa trade and investment and in many instances, does not benefit the sector. Against this background, each organisation's respective offerings will be consolidated into one portal for trade and investment into Africa and will represent a new phase in the activities of both entities.

Karen Taylor will assume the role of CEO of the joint operation and the BCA and IA teams will be co-located. BCA Chairman David Lamb said "A post-Brexit world opens doors into African business, which is today crucially and increasingly driven by Africans in Africa. This new collaboration in the African trade and investment space between

IA and BCA creates an organisation that brings together IA's high-level connections and BCA's extensive network on the ground across Sub-Saharan Africa."

Robert Hersov, founder and Chairman of IA (and its sister company, African Capital Investments), said "Teaming up with BCA makes great sense for our IA members, our sponsors, our partners and for our combined goal of bringing Africa to the world. We will rapidly expand our joint offering and now be able to do a lot more for investors in Africa and for the African economies, businesses and entrepreneurs that deserve recognition and investment. This is a first step in creating the leading platform worldwide for investment in Africa."


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