Standard Bank (also trading as Stanbic Bank) will repeat its hosting of an inter-Africa trade and business dialogue aimed at connecting commercial banking clients with similar business interests across the continent. The conference will focus on West Africa as a region of opportunity, and will be held in Accra, Ghana from October 3 to 5.
The conference follows the successful inaugural session held in Kenya in April this year where Standard Bank hosted clients from Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Malawi, South Africa and Kenya – giving participants an overview of the East Africa region while assisting them to identify accessible services and business opportunities. The West Africa Trans-Regional conference will host delegates from Ghana, Nigeria, Angola, Cote d’ Ivoire, China, South Africa as well as clients from southern and eastern Africa.
Delegates looking to explore business opportunities in the West Africa region will be able to connect and network with like-minded business leaders from across Africa and China through engagements with key business players and policy makers in the West Africa region.
Dr Manessah Alagbaoso, Head of Commercial Banking at Standard Bank Rest of Africa, said: “When we say Africa is our home and that we drive her growth, it is our responsibility to extend ourselves beyond just banking: we must add value by providing exposure, information and our expertise to our clients to foster an environment that facilitates their growth and success.”
Alagbaoso added that the second edition of the Trans-Regional Conference is targeted at Standard Bank commercial banking clients from across sub-Saharan Africa who are interested in expanding their operations or partnering with businesses in the West Africa region, across a range of sectors such as retail, infrastructure, agriculture, construction, manufacturing and information technology.
Despite a slump in commodities which have been the backbone of West Africa’s growth for decades, the region offers multiple avenues for investment and is home to three of the ten fastest growing economies in Africa, according to the IMF’s World Economic Outlook 2016.
“African businesses need a partner who understands emerging markets and also has continental banking experience to make progress real,” said Alagbaoso.
He added: “Standard Bank’s experience shows there is a great deal of opportunity in many sectors and markets if businesses are to be encouraged to look beyond the short term. Positive changes such as government policies to promote commercial businesses, regular and democratic elections, improved literacy rates and education, and the most youthful population in the world have highlighted to us that with the right kind of support, innovation and desire, the growth position promises to be significantly enhanced in the years ahead.”
Through pioneering inter-Africa dialogues with like-minded clients, facilitating partnerships for business development and boosting intra-Africa trade, Standard Bank believes that growth in sub-Saharan Africa remains both realistic and achievable.
“An invitation to interested commercial banking clients will be communicated by their relationship managers in the coming weeks,” Alagbaoso said.