The Africa Forum – which took place on Thursday, 20 June at Barclays’ global headquarters 1 Churchill Place in London – was attended by over 120 clients and was aimed at supporting the needs of those setting up or expanding their operations on the continent.
Kennedy Bungane, Chief Executive, Barclays Africa, opened the event. He was joined by keynote speaker Mark Simmonds MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whose responsibilities include Africa.
There were presentations from speakers from across Barclays, as well as a client panel featuring a number of clients currently operating in the region.
The client panel looked at the theme of ‘Doing business in Africa’, exploring how to navigate issues including regulation, politics and tax, in order to maximise trade in the region.
The top take-outs from the panel session were:
- The unique mix of opportunity and challenge in Africa – its population, huge land area and untapped natural resources
- The need for innovative payments solutions
- The value of an on-the-ground banking presence
- The significance of regulatory considerations
- The importance of securing valuable local knowledge and expert help – from banks, local investment boards, embassies and trade organisations.
Temi Ofong, Head of Corporate Banking, Barclays Africa, closed the event.
“Africa’s growth story is coming to the fore, with significant implications for businesses and investors,” said Chris van Niekerk, Strategic Coverage, Barclays Africa. “
This event was designed to help clients to understand how business, regulatory and financial systems and economies operate across Africa. It was also a very useful opportunity to network with a wide range of companies.”