African businesses eye UAE for growth, development
Africa has turned into every investor's favourite investment destination as innovation and growth get embedded deep in the economy. The UAE being strategically located facilitates the same for the businesses to look forward for opportunities and development.
African businesses are keen to start their operations in the UAE and Dubai becomes most sought after as preparations for the mega event Expo2020 Dubai goes in full swing.
Leading African payment gateway Innovate 1 Pay launched its Dubai office, bringing seamless money transfer and payment services to African expatriates in the region. The fintech is licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria to provide services including international money transfers and wholesale foreign exchange management, as well as being the exclusive distributor of foreign currency to Bureau de Change (BDC) operators in Northern Nigeria.
Mahmood Ahmadu, chairman, Innovate 1 Pay said: "With the maturing of financial markets in Africa, we have expanded our presence to a total of 56 countries currently, and with the promise that the new UAE visa regime holds for African professionals, we believe the prospects for growth in addressing this demographic is very promising indeed. The next generation of financial services needs to reflect customer expectations around secure and quick transfer of funds. Our relationship with government bodies and comprehensive presence in the African market positions Innovate 1 uniquely in being able to leverage these strengths, and amplify them with the use of appropriate and user friendly technologies."
Africa is set to surpass China and India as a job market by 2040, and with the recent visa reforms in the UAE, Dubai has emerged as an attractive destination for Africans to pursue career advancement and professional fulfillment. Dr Chris Cleverly, CEO of Kamari - which is a blockchain project looking to build an ecosystem of mobile gaming and payments for one billion people across Africa - said: "The UAE is at the geographical point where Africa meets Asian and Europe. This ancient relationship is rapidly being rekindled and will become a dominant force in UAE's long term economic growth story. Already many African corporations have established their overseas global offices in pro-business Dubai. The UAE was the second largest investor country into Africa with a capital investment of $11billion and this number is expected to swell in the run up to Dubai Expo 2020 which is increasing rapidly."
The UAE has been a vocal support of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) which removes tariffs from 90 per cent of goods and services across the continent, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) estimate that the agreement will boost intra-African trade by 52 per cent by 2022. Afreximbank is targeting over $40 billion trade fair Inter-Africa Trade Fair in Rwanda in September 2020, the UAE logistics and finance groups will be huge beneficiaries in this increased trade, informs Dr Cleverly.
The Dubai based global smart trade enabler DP World has operations in Senegal, Egypt, Mozambique, Somaliland, Rwanda and Algeria. The company recently signed a agreement with Mali for a logistics platform and to build the Democratic Republic of Congo's first deep sea port. DP WOrld's Group chairman and ceo Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem said at the the Africa Emergence Conference 2019 that "We believe in the viability of Africa, we believe in investing in the continent".
Mahmood Ahmadu, chairman, Innovate 1 Pay.