Scottish businesses will be given a voice this Monday at an international summit hosted by Prime Minister Boris Johnson that will focus on opportunities in fast-growing African economies.
Export-oriented companies will be represented by the newly-established Scottish Africa Business Association (SABA) at the UK-African Investment Summit in London.
SABA’s involvement will help Scottish businesses to explore investment and export potential and engage with African representatives and governmental agencies.
A recent Deloitte survey found that Africa is fast becoming a magnet for international capital. An emergent middle class is also driving demand for consumer goods and services.
That strong consumer demand, aligned with annual growth of about 8 per cent, is likely to have added around $1.1 trillion (£840 million) to African GDP during 2019, with Ethiopia, Uganda and Mozambique among the fastest expanding markets.
John Paterson, recently-appointed executive chairman of SABA, said: “Africa’s economy is booming and business people on the continent are keen to engage internationally with innovative and entrepreneurial companies which will help them grow and develop.
“At events we have hosted, African delegates have been very impressed with the sheer depth and capability of businesses in Scotland, as have Scottish attendees been with the wealth of opportunity across the continent.”
SABA, led by chief executive Frazer Lang, was established as a not-for-profit organisation to create a “targeted and partnership-led approach to opportunities in Africa and to explore and disseminate information to its members in an efficient and business-friendly way”.
Lang added: "By 2030, more than half a billion Africans are projected to be middle class and younger Africans will seek to access a wider choice of food, consumer goods and entertainment, as well as increased connectivity.
"Scottish companies have always been outward looking and have an excellent track record in established markets."