NEWS

Invest in Africa has received a commitment of $1.69 million from the Mastercard Foundation’s Covid-19 Recovery and Resilience Program to help 8,000 micro, small and medium sized enterprises across Ghana, Senegal and Kenya. CNBC Africa spoke to IIA Kenya Country Director, Wangechi Muriuki on how they plan to spend that money and more. This interview first featured on CNBC Africa.

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Project Development of Sangomar Field workshop was co-organised with Woodside and SIA on march, 5, 2020 at Onomo Hotel with 170 local SMEs in attendance.

 

The objective of the workshop was to share with the participants the followings:

  • The project development of Sangomar field with its different phases
  • Woodside’s upcoming tenders
  • SIA Timeline of local content opportunities they seek to source locally depending on existing capabilities.
  • SIA tendering process requirements and supplier qualification
  • SIA Legal and compliance aspect of the scope of their work
  • IIA’s three flagship programmes ( Access to Market, training & Finance)

 

The workshop shed the light on the values that IIA can bring to the IOC’s and its tier1s and local companies from Senemeca’s testimonial which illustrated the work behind the scene IIA is currently doing to support local SMEs and the importance our supplier development programmes to reinforce local capabilities to meet the international standards through our training & certification partners whom we have signed up with and have agreed to apply a discounted rate for all our SMEs registered onto the platform and to prepare local companies to be competitive.

 

That being said, Woodside mentioned that a series of similar project briefing with its tier1s will take place and to expect another one in April with Halliburton and Baker Hughes ( dates TBC).

Pierre Emmanuel Boulanger from SIA urged the local companies (attendees) to have a chat with its Procurement Manager, Fabrication Manager and Engineering Manager to have a better grasp of their requirements and needs for their upcoming opportunities.

 

By and large, the event was a true success with a great number of attendance, precisely 170 companies attended and have left the conference with valuable information and have congratulated IIA for pulling this together and as a result of that my phone is ringing off the hook for meeting requests next week.

 

To conclude, we would like to thank our dear Founding Members for such visibility they are giving to IIA, the trust and seamless support bestowed on us and relentless commitment to making IIA a one stop shop for the Oil and Gas industry.

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Job title: Invest in Africa -IIA- (UK)- Account Executive  
 
The ideal candidate will be passionate about breaking into the African business and / or international
development space.

This entry level role is for someone who is looking to build their knowledge and understanding of
working in African investment and /or development sector. Although defined by primarily important but
routine, supporting tasks the role also has great scope for someone with initiative, proactivity and a
desire to over deliver to develop it into a larger role. For example, with direct project accountability and
oversight of the marketing function.

Job purpose  
To provide important operational support to the team of project managers and senior management in
the London office of Invest in Africa. This includes being on top of all the detail of day to day reporting
and back office functions as well as coordinating with colleagues in regional (Africa) offices to ensure
efficient ways of working across all programmes and systems. The role will also require oversight for the
day to day relationship with IIAs marketing agency, including the production of presentations, case
studies and some social media / website activity.
 
 
 Duties and responsibilities  
  

1. Liaise with IIAs African offices/colleagues to ensure coordinated approach across IIAs key programmes
2. Produce regular reports, case studies, impact summaries for use in IIAs presentations and marketing
3. Liaise with all IIAs third party providers and suppliers to ensure all contracts competitive and up to date
4. Manage all ‘back office’ functions (Salesforce, Project Place, travel, insurance, some aspects of finance)
5. Manage relationships with marketing agency to see work is produced on brief, on time and on budget
6. Support the UK team with materials and research
7. Run and manage all IIA UK related events (approx. 3 p.a) 
8. Including the planning yearly calendar of events, guest lists, venue, media etc. 
9. Oversee content management, master contacts database and in time upkeep of the official IIA website 
10. Create and edit some marketing materials including brochures and videos
11. Create and send out the company's quarterly newsletter 
12. Manage IIA’s social media accounts through frequent posts, online promotion  

Qualifications / Experience
•    Degree level graduate, or equivalent 
•    3+ years of business experience preferable 
•    Strong written and verbal communication skills 
•    Strong organisational skills 
•    Able to work to tight deadlines on more than one task at a time (ie multitask under pressure) 
• Must have a natural tendency to take the initiative on work with a proactive mindset 

All applicants must have eligibility to work in the UK and be available to work in London as of April / May
2020.

Please send CV and short covering letter to michael.amaning@investinafrica.com 

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June 11, 2019, Accra: Invest in Africa (IIA), a not for profit organisation committed to creating prospering African economies, has been contracted by AngloGold Ashanti (Ghana) Limited (AGAG), to enhance capacities of 100 Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) in Obuasi particularly, and Ghana generally. 

Under this programme IIA would provide free business advisory support to selected businesses. The Initiative is fully funded by AGAG under its Enterprise Development and Capacity Building Programme (EDCBP). AGAG’s Obuasi Mine was re-opened early this year after a four-year period of being under care and maintenance. The re-opening of the mine has been welcomed by members of the Obuasi community with excitement due to the prospects that it holds for the local economy. It is estimated that over 2000 new jobs will be created and a boost in business activities within the town is also expected to improve the livelihoods of community members.

The EDCBP forms part of AGA`s comprehensive local content strategy that ensures that to the extent possible, suppliers and other production inputs are sourced locally.  Under the programme, IIA is expected to deploy strategies aimed at building sustainable Ghanaian owned companies, which can contribute meaningfully to job creation, socio-economic growth, and in the long term, capable of being competitive in the broader market.  IIA is therefore required to equip these Ghanaian SME businesses with entrepreneurial, technical and managerial skills, improve their capacity to be competitive locally, build a solid foundation for them to compete at a higher level, prepare them to be investment ready, facilitate access to finance and business linkages for the SMEs that enables them to become  financially independent.

The Managing Director of AGAG, Mr. Eric Asubonteng, said impacting communities where AGA operates positively is in line with the company’s values.

Commenting on the contract, Mr. Clarence Nartey, Country Director of IIA expressed delight about the opportunity to work with AngloGold Ashanti’s Obuasi mine to boost the local economy of the town. “This is a real community level programme and we are excited about the impact it will have on not just the beneficiary companies but the indirect employment opportunities that would be created for the residents as well.”

He noted that it is an opportunity to develop SMEs to fit into AGAG’s supply chain and for the SME’s to be more competitive. “We intend to open up our African Partner Pool (APP) platform to the beneficiaries and help facilitate additional business for them. Those with the required capacity to do business with the about 12 multinational organisations on the APP will be given that opportunity”, Mr. Nartey stated.

The contract, which starts from August this year, will be for an initial one year but with potential for an extension. Shortlisting of beneficiary SMEs, who will be drawn from AGA’s supplier list, is currently under way.  END.

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Accra–Ghana, 31st January 2020: Invest in Africa (IIA) is positioning Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) under its programmes, to enable them to explore opportunities that come with the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement. 

The AfCFTA becomes operational on 1st June 2020 and is expected to create the world’s largest free trade Zone with over 1billion consumers, a potential $3 trillion economy and zero tariffs on goods traded across countries.

The Country Director of IIA, Mr Clarence Nartey remarked that IIA is investing to adequately prepare its SMEs to harness the market opportunities this agreement will provide. To start with he indicated that there is still work to be done to educate /sensitise the private sector on both the opportunities and threats that this agreement comes with and work to develop a competitive AfCFTA strategy.  From an IIA perspective, the good news is that some of its suppliers are already engaged in Pan-African trade – equivalent to c.15% of IIA’s active supplier pool. However, this is not enough and the organisation is committed to increasing this to 40% in a few years.

This will be done through rolling out its AfDB- sponsored flagship Business Linkage Programme  – which focuses on integrating SMEs into supply chains of MNC’s & Large Local organisations by improving their competitiveness and building their long-term capacity,- across 11 countries. Leveraging ICT in the form of IIA’s Digital infrastructure – an online marketplace that connects  50 Buyers and 5500 suppliers across Africa- to accelerate cross-border and regional value chain integration and rapidly scaling-up SMEs through its “Home Grown Buyer project” all of which should position IIA’s SMEs to be regionally competitive.

Mr Nartey stated this at the 3rd IIA SME Excellence Awards held in Accra today. The Awards Scheme honours indigenous businesses who have demonstrated entrepreneurial excellence and developed the capacity to participate in supply chains of large local and international companies. This year's awards ceremony was under the theme; “Preparing Local Businesses for Regional Market Opportunities #AfCFTA ready”.

Nine (9) SMEs were awarded for excelling in their respective categories. They are; Young Entrepreneur of the year- BTL Africa Marketing Limited, Sustainable Business of the Year- Jekora Ventures, Business Transformation- Aidec Holdings Limited, Business Linkage- Lightingale Limited, Business Technology Growth- Consolidated Shipping Agencies Limited, Business Innovation of the Year- Agriaccess Ghana Limited,  Mentorship Recognition- Agriaccess Ghana Limited and Scale-Up Business of the Year - Western Premium Company Limited. The IIA Star Award for Excellence was awarded to Joissam Ghana Limited.

The Executive Chairman of AB & David Africa Mr David Ofosu Dorte, who delivered the Keynote address, underscored the need for SMEs to enhance their competitiveness by upgrading the standards of their products and expanding production capacity in order to maximize the benefits from AFCFTA.

The Country Manager of African Development Bank Group (AfDB) Mr Sebastian Okeke, was the Guest Speaker. He expressed the AfDB’s commitment to continue its partnership with IIA through the Fund for Africa Private Sector Assistance (FAPA), to support the growth of Ghanaian SMEs and promote local content.

Mr Okeke said through this partnership, some SMEs in the agricultural, oil and gas, financial services and telecommunication sectors among others, have been supported with access to skills, market and finance. “The business skills of more than 300 SMEs have been enhanced and over $2 million worth of credit has been secured for them through IIA’s partner banks”, he noted.

The event was attended by other IIA’s partners- Tullow Ghana, Modec Production Services, Ghana JV, EY, AB & David, GCB, Barclays Ghana, MTN Business, Ecobank Ghana, GGBL, Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC)and Multi-Media Limited.

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Collaboration in any undertaking is to be applauded and encouraged. Business to business collaboration lags as a strategy because it has not been given enough emphasis. There is a realization that embracing collaboration in business strategies is key to an organization’s overall profitability. It is a valuable way to expand knowledge, learn from the success of others, recruit new clients, tell others about your business and to build a sustainable business.

There is an increasing need for business enterprises, especially SMEs, to come together, open up their operations and establish ways they can learn from each other to enable easy navigation of the business and market environment. That way, they will be able to identify and leverage the business opportunities they are afforded. It also helps to build relationships and avenues for partnership and to share relevant information for training, inspiration, and guidance.

In a bid to create opportunities for SMEs to share knowledge with their peers and form business linkages, Invest In Africa (IIA) introduced the ‘Biashara Exchange Tours’ for the SMEs registered on our online platform, Biashara.Now. The monthly tours involve visits to Biashara.Now member firms, with the aim of enhancing Business-to-Business linkages, learning, and business knowledge exchange. This greatly enhances our key pillars of creating access to skills and markets, as it offers firsthand learning experiences to the SMEs, as well as providing opportunities to directly link and acquire business deals.

During these tours, the SMEs get an opportunity to explore the host company intensively to understand its operations and business structure. The SMEs can learn new business ideas while identifying business opportunities they can take advantage of. This is also an opportunity for the visiting SMEs to interact with each other, form relationships, and share business ideas.

Since the launch of this initiative, there have been 2 tours. The inaugural tour, in August, took a select group of SMEs to MECOL, a company on our platform that specializes in manufacturing bespoke office, school, hospital, library, and shelving furniture. This tour included 15 companies, who visited the MECOL’s Nairobi plant.

MECOL shared some insights into its success with the SMEs and how they have managed to stand out in a sector that is greatly infiltrated by importation. This was an eye-opener for the SMEs, most of whom marveled at the realization that they could get good Kenyan-made furniture instead of importing from Asia. Four of the visiting SMEs pledged to procure their furniture from MECOL.

The next tour was a visit to LINEPLAST Group, which is an alliance of three companies, Plast Packaging Industries Limited, Line Art Solutions Limited, and Aromakare, who offer processing and packaging solutions. The tour took place on 10th September 2019 and involved 10 SMEs. The SMEs were able to explore LINEPLAST Group’s manufacturing and processing facility, giving them a feel of their basic and core operations. Through the tour, 3 business linkages were realized for processing and packaging services. The tour also included a mentorship session where, Mary Ngechu, the LINEPLAST Group Managing Director, motivated the SMEs with the story of her journey of establishing and growing LINEPLAST. She encouraged them to consolidate their businesses into areas of strength and pledged to support SMEs of every level.

These business exchange tours support IIA’s core mission of creating access to markets and skills, through the creation of viable business linkages and sharing of relevant information and ideas. The October edition will hosted by Rhombus concrete, who will host firms in the construction and contracting sector from our platform to learn and identify business opportunities.

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Invest In Africa (IIA-Kenya) in partnership with the Department of Trade, Gender and Youth of the Turkana County Government, International Finance Corporation (IFC), Lundin Foundation, Technoserve, and Tullow Kenya, organized the 2nd annual business forum in Turkana County dubbed, ‘THE TURKANA BUSINESS EXCHANGE FORUM and MSME EXPO 2019.’ This event is a follow-up to last year’s IIA-led event that was held against the background of the Credit Guarantee Scheme (CGS) which has seen IIA-Kenya work with over 125 MSMEs in Turkana through the platform.

The exchange forum and MSME EXPO was conceived as an interactive platform bringing together several actors in the County including County and National Government Ministries and Agencies, private sector entities, business associations, bilateral and multilateral agencies, academia and MSMEs. This interaction aims to position the MSMEs to take advantage of Business Linkage opportunities through networking, showcase MSMEs from Turkana and public-private open dialogue to address key policy issues affecting the business environment in Turkana.


The key objectives of this year’s forum (BEF 2019) were: to provide a platform for multi-stakeholder dialogue – with the Turkana County Government (TCG), on the action areas identified at the previous Business Exchange Forum (BEF 2018) and progress made towards operationalizing the MSME Development Framework; to increase opportunities for public-private partnership for increased investment into Turkana County; to showcase scalable local Turkana businesses for the purpose of creating viable linkages for skills, finance and markets; and to understand the different MSME development initiatives and identify the areas of possible synergies.


This year’s theme is ‘Enhancing MSME Competitiveness for Business Linkages’, focused on the key value chains which carry opportunities in Turkana county. These value chains include; Extractives, Agribusiness, Basketry and Handicrafts, Construction and Fisheries. The other additional areas the forum covered included Refugee Livelihoods and wholesale and retail business.

This year’s forum was attended by 150 participants drawn from the private sector, government, business community, and Media. 43 MSMEs from Turkana County also exhibited at the EXPO. The highlight of this year’s event was the participation of MSMEs from the humanitarian ecosystem from Kakuma/Kaloyebei in Turkana West. IIA’s partners, Kenya Tullow and Equity Bank, facilitated sector discussions on Extractives and Access to finance respectively.

The event was graced by His Excellency, Josephat Nanok, Governor – Turkana County with participation from high-level county ministers. The event brings together several private sector actors, business associations, bilateral and multilateral agencies, academia, the business community, MSMEs and the media.

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