The work of the 8th edition of the Africa SME Champions Forum was officially opened on Thursday, October 5, by Victoire Tomegah-Dogbe, Prime Minister of Togo in Lomé. According to Didier Acouetey, president of AfricSearch, the organization of the event, it is an “extremely important meeting for SMEs
"SMEs are truly the heart and lungs of our economies," he recalled. “This forum we launched in 2014 aims to change things every time, asking how we can improve the public environment for SMEs, with the problems they know, such as financing issues, capacity issues and ultimately development issues. », added Didier Acouetey.
«We must create between 10 and 15 million jobs every year on the continent, and it is SMEs that create these jobs. Therefore, it is extremely important to us that a space like this exists to accelerate the growth of these champions who drive our growth,” the organizer continued.
For his part, Sidi Ould Tah, president of the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA), a partner of the event, noted that this eighth edition of the Africa SME Forum is "without a doubt an important milestone in the operationalization of the coalition launched ago." two years by BADEA and its partners. The idea of this coalition is to bring together all actors interested in supporting small and medium-sized businesses in Africa at the same table. As you know, small and medium-sized companies represent more than 90% of the economic fabric and generate more than 50% of jobs on the continent.
In her opening speech, the Prime Minister of Togo did not hesitate to highlight an aspect that she considers crucial. When we talk to young entrepreneurs, we realize that there is a glass ceiling that we cannot overcome to lead them towards solid and sustained growth. Often our SMEs are born, grow, but have difficulties scaling,” he noted.
Among the reasons, Victoire Tomegah-Dogbé mentions several factors ranging from governance to human resources and financing. «We often admire large global players in logistics, industry, food, nutrition or digital services. But we must remember that these multinationals were once SMEs, with some people sometimes from the same family, with few resources, but with a lot of innovation and determination to succeed. Surely there is a well-kept secret about what allowed them to scale and settle on continents, all over the world. We can and must discover that secret, because here in Africa we have the potential to do as well or even better. We have the potential
Article source: financialafrik