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Looking to Africa for trade boost

OPENING UP THE CONTINENT: Terser Adamu is hoping to help British businesses trade with the nations of Africa

AS THE future of post-Brexit Britain remains uncertain, the continent hosting some of the fastest growing economies in the world looks certain to bene t from new trade links with the North.

Helping businesses to forge those links is the Manchester Africa Business Network. The organisation, with its burgeoning member base, aims to link investors, entrepreneurs or other partners in the UK with contacts in Africa.

Director Terser Adamu, an experienced supply chain and procurement professional, has helped the organisation grow from strength to strength.

“My objective is to stimulate investment, business partnerships and enterprise development between the UK and Africa, as well as create sustainable jobs in the UK, with a focus on the North,” he said.

In addition to the UK and France, members of the network represent countries spanning the African continent, including Uganda, South Sudan, Kenya, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Ghana, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zambia, Guinea, Zimbabwe, Cameroon, Somalia, Eritrea and Tanzania.

On a recent visit to South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya, Theresa May announced plans for the UK – which lags behind France, Germany, Italy and Spain – to be the G7’s number one investor in Africa by 2022.

“The economic condition in Africa quietly began to change during 1995 to 2005,” said Terser. “Deep economic reforms coupled with controlled in a- tion opened up the continent to international trade.

“London, as the capital city, naturally attracts and conducts more trading with Africa. Despite this, Manchester and the North West of England has remained the UK’s manufacturing powerhouse and the region continues to enjoy an industrial renaissance. This is something that companies in Manchester and the North West can leverage to increase trade with Africa.”

Since its inception in 2015, the network has supported numerous companies to set up operations in African countries by linking them with suitable partners. In addition to creating important trade links, the organisation can assist with everything from finding suitable companies, to checking samples, ensuring a fair price, inspection, shipping, duty and delivery.

A range of industries have bene ted from these new alliances including food manufacturing, construction, IT, cyber security, agriculture, real estate, distribution, healthcare and logistics.

And Terser is enthusiastic about future plans for major infrastructure and investment projects in Africa.

EXPERT

Next year, he will begin working closely with Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce as part of their Approved Supplier Scheme, acting as the of cial expert on African market strategy.

And from their base at the Chuck Gallery in Manchester, where the Manchester Africa Business Network meets on the rst Thursday of the month, he also plans to provide free workshops to members on market entry strategies.

Plus, there will be training sessions for start-up enterprises and SMEs in areas where they have identified need such as HR, finance and marketing, with aims to utilise the expertise within the organisation.

“We want to create a community where people are comfortable purchasing services from each other, as historically, African-Caribbean communities haven’t done as well at this as some other ethnicities.”

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