Dr George Njenga, dean of Strathmore Business School (SBS) is leading a team of delegates from Africa at the two-day annual Europe-Africa Business Summit, which kicked off yesterday March 19th 2015, in Warsaw, Poland. The team comprises experts from different sectors of the economies of a number of African economies, including academia, government, and business.
The summit, themed Investment Opportunities in Africa, is meant to take European entrepreneurs through the process of setting up businesses in Africa and convince them to do so through presentations on the growth of the continents economy.
According to Dr Njenga, the summit is meant to lure more investors to come and invest in Africa. This, he says, makes the more sense now that Africa has a vast and burgeoning middle class, projected to reach 100 million in 2015, which will provide a lucrative consumer market for many businesses.
Furthermore, he mentioned the resilience of the Sub-Saharan African economy in the face of the 2008 2011 financial crisis, when it grew 4.7% annually while other economies were shrinking or slowing, and the increasing decline in poverty rates in the region as even more reasons for companies to consider setting up shop in Africa.
The summit explores case studies on Enterprise Establishments in Africa, Methods of Financing Corporations with African Partners, Public Private Partnerships available in Africa, Protection against Unfair Practices and Opportunities for Establishing Africa-Europe Business Contacts.
Dr Njenga, a long-time advocate for increased economic ties between Kenya and Poland, engaged with the Polish Development Bank, BGK (Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego), in October 2014 with the aim of developing such relationships. The bank, as a result, listed Kenya as one of its partners in investment and trade matters. The summit is another initiative in this direction.
The African delegates at the summit include Charles Wako (Chairman, Fly Sax and Fly 540 and Director, Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry), Darshan Chandaria, (Director & Group CEO, Chandaria Group), Ali Mufuruki (Chairman and CEO of Infotech Investment Group Ltd., Dar es Salaam, Tanzania), Joel Jackson (Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Mobius Motor), Raj Shah (head of investment banking for East Africa at Barclays Bank), Adi Bongo (Academic Director, Centre for Infrastructure, Policy, Regulation and Advancement, Nigeria), Dariusz Brzeski (a member of the Supervisory Board of Asseco, South Africa), Taibou Mbaye (partner at Mazars, Senegal), Adedoyin Salami (member of the Monetary Policy Committee of the Central Bank of Nigeria), Muda Yusuf (Director General of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Nigeria) and Karol Zarajczyk (President of the Management Board of Ursus South Africa).