Stratcomm Africa Features At 1st Forum For Africa SME Champions In Dakar, Senegal

Ecobank Transnational Incorporated, the Pan African bank, held the first ever Africa SME Champions conference in Dakar, Senegal from 11th to 12 November, 2014. AfricSearch and African Guarantee Fund were co-organizers of this unique platform for African SMEs to discuss issues they constantly have to grapple with. Five Ghanaian “SME Champions” participated in the forum.

Mr. Albert Essien, Chief Executive Officer of ETI said, “having started as an African SME itself, Ecobank continues to maintain a unique relationship with African SMEs and Ecobank understands the needs of African SMEs and maintains a special relationship with them.” He also launched an SME Club during the Conference.

Esther A. N. Cobbah, Chief Executive Officer of Stratcomm Africa, was a speaker at the event and stated in her presentation “This gathering itself communicates some important messages. The health of economies in each of our countries has to be measured by the health of SMEs because all our aspirations for creating jobs, for increasing productivity, for improved living standards can only be realized as we develop the capabilities of such enterprises. We can also use such interactions to exchange experiences and ensure that more and more of such initiatives in enterprise are successful across our continent. So the commitment to SMEs that Ecobank is communicating here is truly laudable. “Africa Rising” is only meaningful as SMEs in Africa rise!” She also encouraged SMEs in Africa to be disciplined and to interact frequently with each other across the borders in the African continent.

In a brief on the event, the organizers stated, “We want to free African SMEs. This is exactly why Africsearch, African Guarantee Fund and Ecobank met to organize the African SME Champions Forum”. The event was attended by over 500 participants including Ministers of African states.

It also featured one of the founders of ETI and now an Honorary President, Gervais Koffi Djondo. He made reference to the Pan African aspirations of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah and insisted that this is the way for the African continent to make progress. He considered distinctions between Francophone, Anglophone, Lusophone Africa, for instance, as meaningless.

Mr. Abdulai Abdul-Rahman, Head of SME Banking in Ecobank Ghana commented, “We were pleased to showcase some of Ghana’s “SME Champions” at this forum. Ecobank’s SME Unit, since its establishment, remains committed to facilitating the survival and growth of SMEs in Ghana as part of ETIs commitment to SMEs throughout Africa.”

About Stratcomm Africa
Strategic Communications Africa Ltd (Stratcomm Africa) is a specialized total communication, reputation management and research agency dedicated to using communication as a means of enhancing performance in various contexts. Stratcomm Africa specializes in evolving and implementing systematic and comprehensive communication strategies for individuals, organizations, public and private, in both national and international settings.

About the Africa SME Champions Forum
Africa SME Champions Forum was jointly organised by AfricSearch, African Guarantee Fund and Ecobank. The Forum created an ecosystem of leading African SMEs, financial institutions, highly skilled experts, economic and political decision makers from all five regions of Africa. It provided selected SME champions, a platform for learning, networking and sharing for their growth and the development of the continent.

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