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'Companies to Inspire Africa' 2019 report launches in London

LAUNCH: The Companies to Inspire Africa 2019 report launched at the London Stock Exchange on Wednesday (Jan 16)

TODAY, LONDON Stock Exchange Group launched the second edition of its ‘Companies to Inspire Africa’ report, identifying and celebrating some of Africa’s most dynamic growth businesses.

David Schwimmer, CEO, London Stock Exchange Group was joined by International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt to welcome guests including the CEOs of featured companies, African government representatives, Africa-focused investors and trade groups to the Group’s London headquarters.

Also in attendance were official partners to the report, the African Development Bank, Asoko Insight, CDC Group and PwC, together with sponsors Instinctif Partners and Stephenson Harwood.

At the launch, International Development Secretary, Penny Mordaunt, said: "Africa is going through a period of enormous change. Five of the world’s fasting-growing economies are African and by 2050 a quarter of the world’s population will live there. This growth presents unique opportunities for us all.

"The Companies to Inspire Africa report highlights the leading private companies operating in Africa, which have the most inspiring stories and the strongest growth potential. By combining African-led ambition with British expertise we can unlock investment and create more jobs for Africa and the UK. This is a win for Africa and a win for the UK."

The 2019 report identifies 360 companies from 32 countries across the African continent with seven major sectors represented.The fastest growing sectors are financial services and renewable energy with revenue growth rates of 70% and 66% respectively and The report findings show 23% of the companies are led by women, almost double the proportion in the 2017 report.

David Schwimmer, CEO, LSEG, commented: "London Stock Exchange Group’s ‘Companies to Inspire Africa’ report showcases inspirational and entrepreneurial businesses from across the African continent, representing a wide variety of industries and countries.

“It is particularly encouraging to see the increasing influence of women in leadership roles in these fast-growing companies, playing a pivotal role in shaping the future of African business. These high growth companies have the potential to transform the African economy and become tomorrow’s job creators.”

In addition to the launch of the report DFID announced a £2 million investment in MFS Africa, making it easier to send remittances to the continent. MFS Africa sends money to mobile wallets across Africa and covers 170 million mobile money recipients across all major networks.

In a press release, DFID said: “Mobile payments are key in driving economic growth, which is why we are investing £2 million through FSDA to build and expand cross-border payments processing remittance hubs to better connect payment providers and receivers and to unlock the potential of mobile wallets and digital payments to drive financial inclusion through its diverse range of partners to its hub.

“The new UK aid support will also make it easier for African diaspora communities living in the UK to send and receive money to their friends and family in Africa, helping the most vulnerable to make ends meet.”

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