The Managing Director of DHL Express for Sub-Saharan Africa Charles Brewer has called on African leaders to make the continent easier to do business with.
Speaking on the backdrop of the just concluded World Economic Forum (WEF) on Africa which was held in Cape Town, South Africa, Mr Brewer lauded the forum’s theme ‘Then and Now: Reimagining Africa’s Future’ saying it could not be more fitting given the rise of Africa in the last few decades.
He said despite Africa being one of the last frontiers for economic growth, there was urgent need for leaders in the continent to determine the best approach for ensuring continued growth.
The rise of small and medium enterprises (SMEs), he said, was a strong aspect of spurring growth in Africa.
“The region offers plenty of untapped opportunities, which pave the way for SMEs to fill the gaps not presently being catered for by larger corporations.
“Manufacturing, on a large scale, is still somewhat embryonic in Africa and as such, there is a definite opportunity for SMEs that operate in the manufacturing industry,” said Mr Brewer.
Mr Brewer added that the continent needed to boost connectivity and intra-Africa trade which he termed as “the biggest game changer for Africa”.
He referred to a recent DHL Global Connectedness Index which showed Africa as the world’s least connected continent, in terms of moving people, trade, information and finance.
“All African countries should therefore be focused on developing connectedness on the continent and building trade relationships,” said Mr Brewer.
For African countries to boost their levels of trade, there was need to remove the obstacles which hinder the ease of doing business, Mr Brewer added.
He urged governments and the private sector to work together to create a sustainable and inclusive business environment.
Having established its presence in all countries of Africa, DHL has become familiar with the continent’s unique challenges and characteristics, reiterated Mr Brewer.
He said DHL, being a socially responsible organisation that delivers shared and inclusive value, had prioritised issues of gender equality in the workplace, digitisation across Africa.