SCC strengthens business relationship with Africa
The Scottish Chambers of Commerce has formed a strategic alliance with Africa Scotland Business Network.
The alliance between two of Scotland’s most prominent business networks has been founded with the purpose of promoting and facilitating trade between Scotland and African countries, bringing businesses together through events, trade missions and proactive collaboration.
The International Monetary Fund has forecast over the next 5 years that half of the world’s 10 fastest growing economies will be in Africa. By the end of this decade, the working population in Africa will have grown by 30%. The continent will undoubtedly rely on foreign investment and expertise to power its astounding growth and ensure Africa’s young population are adequately trained and skilled to compete with global markets.
South Africa remains the UK’s most important trade and investment partner in Africa. As the UK’s 27th largest trading partner, the value of South Africa-UK trade stands at £8bn alone (Department International Trade, 2021). Another priority market for DIT is Nigeria, the largest population in Africa as well as Egypt, the fastest growing economy on the continent.
Seona Shand, International Trade Director at the Scottish Chambers of Commerce, said:
“Creating a strategic alliance with Africa Scotland Business Network gives us a huge opportunity to boost trade and relations directly between Scotland and African countries. The partnership will enable more businesses to connect, discover opportunities, access market intelligence and increase their global footprint in an exciting continent with so much potential.”
Key African countries present enormous opportunities for Scotland’s energy sectors and world class training and education competence. Scotland, as an energy-rich nation, is already a net exporter of electricity, and the country is at the vanguard of a world-leading green revolution with the skills and education to support other nations’ energy transition, including Africa.
Many companies from Scotland are already reaping the benefits with strong partnerships in Africa, as documented in the recent Africa Scotland Economic Impact Report commissioned by Scottish Government and produced by Africa Scotland Business Network. The report is due for release in December 2022. Although energy is the largest shared economy, the report showcases case studies of active partnerships across multiple sectors including digitisation, healthcare, customer management services, tourism, manufacturing and importing products from Africa.
Claire Alexander, Director of Africa Scotland Business Network, added:
“This partnership directly supports our ambition to support Scottish companies in Africa whilst raising the profile of doing productive business on this majestic continent. Africa is alive with possibilities and people are eager to work with Scotland”.
“Being operational in both Africa and Scotland, ASBN can attest to the tremendous economic impact and benefit to Scottish firms who are working in Africa. We must also celebrate the impact that Scottish companies create in African economies whether it’s through job creation, long term partnerships, skills development or knowledge transfer. It is incredibly inspiring.”
This strategic alliance is no different. The aim is to form a strong, meaningful collaborative effort over the long term to reaffirm Scottish companies top of mind in key African countries whilst bringing African opportunities to the forefront in Scotland’s public and private sector too.