Africa SME Champions Forum: Persistence, Saving will accelerate growth of SMEs in Africa: Bitature

Africa SME Champions Forum: Persistence, Saving will accelerate growth of SMEs in Africa: Bitature
The Chairman Simba Group Dr Patrick Bitature giving his key note speech

Uganda hosted the edition of the Africa SME Champions Forum a gathering dedicated to supporting the growth of African Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Africa co-hosted by the Arab Bank for Development in Africa (BADEA) and empowered by AfricSearch.

The forum attracted over 300 of Africa’s top SMEs, institutional funding organizations, venture capitalists, angel investors, and ecosystem builders held at Speke Resort Munyonyo Kampala between September 6th-7th.

While delivering his keynote speech, The Chairman of Simba Group, Dr. Patrick Bitature highlighted that in order for SMEs to realize sustained growth there is need to apply passion and sustained persistence toward long-term achievement, with no strong and particular concern for rewards and recognition along the way.

He said that if SMEs can combine the saving culture, supplementary business resilience, ambition, and self-control in business, it will make it easy to pursue business goals that can a long time.

“Our SMS climate is filled wd Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexities & Ambiguity. We've got to grit. You have got to start a side hustle. Get a side hustle that will help you supplement your income. Savings will enable investments and growth in business and at home.” he said

The Chairman and author of the book “The Mystery of Wealth. Why SMEs struggle” added that the African SMEs current challenges need to be addressed for SMEs to access opportunities while focusing on more advanced technologies.

“As we aim to accelerate the growth of the SME sector on the African continent. The biggest challenge of our times is Jobs, In fact Dignified Jobs. we need to move to more advanced technology.” he added

Picture: H.E DR. Fahad Abdullah the chairman Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa in the middle next to Dr Parick Bitature

In his remarks H.E DR. Fahad Abdullah the chairman Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA) board of Directors kingdom of Saudi Arabia said that they remain committed to support the growth of SMEs as an agent for Africa’s economic empowerment and as Badea they are key to facilitate further opportunities for both exchange and access to both Africa and Arab markets. This 2-day event that will end on October 7th will also encourage every private and public actor to share their approach and strategies in order to enable African SMEs to overcome their challenges.

Didier Acouetey, the chairman of the forum and Group President of AfricSearch, the convenors, said the forum is set to reconnect African SMEs for enhanced cooperation, alliance building and partnerships for accelerated growth.

“SMEs play an important role in Africa’s economic development. They provide 70% of jobs created, and over 60% of the continent’s GDP and they are an engine for transformation and innovation. Therefore, investing in them means we are investing in Africa’s future,” he said

Launched in Dakar in 2014, the forum dedicated to African SMEs has passed through Nairobi, Abidjan, Kigali and Johannesburg. This according to the organizers is to facilitate interconnection between African businesses as a priority.

The event, whose theme was “Resilience and Growth”, also saw the launch of the Africa SME Growth Fund and the Africa SME Growth Initiative and various awards given to including the SME of the year , the Female Entrepreneur of the year,  Start-up of the year, Financial Institution of the year (that has supported the most SMEs), a special recognition award and the MSME Coalition Award. Winners walked away with cash awards ranging between $10,000-$20,000.

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