AFRICA | 12 APRIL 2019

Absa ready to support growth of African economies

Neil Naidoo Author

Neil Naidoo

Regional Head: CIB ARO

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There is no better time than now for investors to consider Africa, which is the next growth frontier among emerging markets.

We have seen a renewed optimism in African countries where Absa has a presence and where both the business sector and national governments agree that the growth and investment potential of Africa is significant and waiting to be exploited.

The excitement, energy, hunger and sheer determination of the African people to make this happen is not only encouraging and inspiring, but also paints a positive picture of the future of our continent.

This was even more evident at the recent Africa CEO Forum for 2019, where it was refreshing to hear views and the drive to grow our continent from various business leaders and captains of industry, both from the continent and globally. This included heads of state, and key political leaders.

Why do we say Africa is open for business?

Africa has a vibrant, young population of 226 million as of 2015 according to the World Bank, and which was aged between 15 and 24 years.

This population is expected to have doubled by 2045. According to the Commonwealth Development Corporation (CDC), in the next two years, there will be 122 million new entrants to the African labour market.

By 2050, Africa will be the home to a quarter of the world’s population.

Finally, many governments are reforming their economies and introducing incentives to attract both domestic and foreign investment.

That is why we say there is no better time than now to start investing in the continent and help drive growth.

Absa wants to be part of this growth and we see our role being that of helping our clients expand across the continent, with a particular focus on home grown, large local regional corporates.

Even more significant, many African countries are growing at GDP rates of more than 5%, with some even achieving double digit growth rates.

Assisting expansion across the continent

We have helped our key corporates to invest or expand in countries such as Botswana, Tanzania, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa and Uganda. We are also exploring ways of supporting our clients in exciting growth markets such as Ethiopia, Cote d'Ivoire, Angola, and Namibia.

We have noticed that our clients want a bank that is willing to grow with them.
On our part, client experience and being proactive with solutions on how to manage risk, fund growth, help clients manage their day to day activities and drive their evolution in this ever changing environment, is what has set us apart from our peers.

With the goal of being a leading pan-African Corporate & Investment Bank across the continent, this requires increased collaboration with Absa colleagues across our geographies, product areas, business segment and all support functions to actively drive a positive client experience that will keep us top-of-mind for our clients.

The recent agreement to form an alliance with French banking group Société Générale to develop a pan-African wholesale banking offering, and the acquisition of Société Générale’s South African custody, trustee and clearing services for an undisclosed amount, is clear evidence of our intentions to be the leading bank across Africa.

In conclusion, Absa has a clear growth mandate, which is at the core of our strategy.

It is not just about us growing, but doing this through supporting our clients’ growth. We need to be more than a bank, but also play a role in shaping society because our clients also recognise that the success of our communities will result in shared growth.

Neil Naidoo Author
Neil Naidoo

Regional Head: CIB ARO

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