GALLUP World Poll Hosts Amb. Robin Sanders Book "Rise of Africa’s Small & Medium Size Enterprises”
Small Businesses Rise to the Challenges of Development in Sub Saharan Africa
Jon Clifton, Managing Partner Gallup World Poll remarks at thebook presentation on “The Rise of Africa’s Small & Medium Size Enterprises” written by Ambassador Robin Sanders, (right), Thursday, May 11, 2017- Photo by Idika Onyukwu
While development is ultimately the responsibility of each sovereign country, small and medium size enterprises (more commonly referred to as SMEs) within Sub-Saharan Africa are providing what Sanders calls creative business-aiding-development enterprises that are defining the region’s future and responding to its many age-old challenges with both new and appropriate(repurposing by-products of paper or plastic) technology solutions, according to Ambassador Robin Renee Sanders. Ambassador Sanders, a former top U.S. government diplomat who served as U.S. Permanent Representative to the West African Regional Organization ECOWAS, and Ambassadors to Nigeria and Republic of Congo, spoke at the Washington, D.C. area launch of her new book on May 11, 2017. The book titled “The Rise of Africa’s Small & Medium Size Enterprise; Spurring Development & Growing the Middle Class,” highlights the role small businesses are playing in not only aiding development but adding to the economic growth of the Sub Saharan Africa Region. The Washington, D.C. book launch was hosted by Gallup World Poll, with Allafrica.com as the event’s media partner. Sanders, who is CEO of FEEEDS, along with Gallup World Poll and Allafrica.com have partnered annually to cover key events on Africa over the last several years from policies to elections, to improvement in governance.
In his opening remarks, Gallup World Poll Managing Partner Jon Clifton said, “The Africa small business story is one of the good news stories, and Gallup World Poll data helps to tell this good news story.” Clifton commented that in Ambassador Sanders’s book there are a number Gallup World Poll Datagraphs that helped add to sharing this all-important story of the roll today that Africa’s SMEs are playing, even in, or in spite of difficult or post-conflict environments in some cases.
“The Rise of Africa’s Small & Medium Size Enterprises” discusses the determination of Africa’s SMEs to step into the void left by 40 years of post-independence development efforts that left very 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 book also sheds light on the “China Factor” in the region and its efforts in the SME sector; serves as a resource-rich data source of not only what Africa’s SMEs are doing, but shares investment, foundation, and competition opportunities that Africa’s SMEs can take advantage of, and extensively covers what SSAfrica’s female entrepreneurs are achieving as well as they special challenges they face. Other areas covered by the book include: special programs by the various African stock exchanges (e.g. Johannesburg, Kenya, Nigerian) for Africa’s SMEs, which helps them better understand as well as access the capital markets, the new role that other technology creative-use boosters such as 3-D printing and drones are adding to the mix of small business opportunities; and, Sanders highlights the top eight list or her TEL list of sectors where Africa SMEs are playing and could play more of role in economic development.
Participants at the event included former Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Linda Thomas-Greenfield, Ambassadors of Mozambique and Rwanda, Carlos Dos Santos, and Prof. Mathilde Mukantabana, and Economic Minister, Embassy of South Africa, Malose Letsoalo. Other key figures attending were Prof Kingsley Moghalu ex-Deputy Governor Central Bank of Nigeria, Eric Guichard, CEO-Homestrings, a leading Diaspora investment platform, representatives of UPAC, a prominent Africa Diaspora Business and Policy Organization, and other prominent members of the diplomatic community, think tanks, NGOs and academia from the greater Washington, D.C. area, New York, and Virginia.