British International Investment
11 July 2019

CDC Group supports London Stock Exchange Group’s Companies to Inspire Africa 2019 in Nigeria

London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) Companies to Inspire Africa 2019 report recognises over 360 dynamic businesses from 32 countries across Africa. Today it was celebrated in Lagos, bringing together Nigeria’s top performing businesses. This is one of six events being held across the Continent in 2019; last month we hosted the successful Cairo event, see more here.

Gozie Chigbue, a CDC Portfolio Director, joined a thought provoking panel to discuss emerging new industries in Nigeria that are benefitting from smart technology and digital commerce, and how these are developing more traditional sectors. Gozie brought his local knowledge and expertise about investing in Nigeria, he also shared insight into how these new technologies are helping CDC commercially and sustainably.

CDC has a large portfolio of businesses in Nigeria, totalling over US$370million. We have been responsibly investing in Nigeria, and across Africa, for over 70 years. Earlier this year, we helped to fund a $162.5 million syndicated loan package to Nigeria’s Access Bank Plc increasing its support of local micro, small, and medium-size enterprises. Just previous to that we anchored Nigeria’s CardinalStone Capital Advisors Growth Fund (“CCA”), a first-time fund that also targets SMEs across multiple sectors.

CDC has again partnered with LSEG to champion over 360 exciting African businesses, showcasing them on a global stage. Over a fifth are led by women and we are proud to highlight their performance and potential.

Tenbite Ermias, Managing Director of Africa, CDC Group, commented:

“It’s a privilege to champion more than 360 high performing businesses in the Companies to Inspire Africa publication. These companies are led by some of the Continent’s most dynamic management teams who shape the future of their industries.

Gozie knows Nigeria extremely well, he brought his local knowledge and investment expertise to the panel.

Nigeria is an exciting place to be an investor and a growing business. With a further £3.5 billion to invest across Africa over the next three years, we plan to partner with many more strong management teams to help drive growth and prosperity through socially responsible business. We are thrilled to support LSEG in highlighting the breadth of commercial talent and tenacity from Africa’s thriving business community.”

To learn more about Companies to Inspire Africa listen to our podcast discussing the initiative and some of the business involved.

The 2019 report findings at a glance:

  • 360 companies from 32 countries across the continent of Africa with 7 major sectors represented
  • Companies featured include small entrepreneurial businesses through to well-established corporations
  • Revealing exceptional rates of growth amongst this year’s cohort, with average revenue Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) at 46% and average employee CAGR at 25% over three years, the report highlights the entrepreneurial and dynamic landscape of the African private sector
  • 23% of companies are led by women, almost double the proportion in the 2017 report: standout sectors where senior female executives are having a big impact are Healthcare & Education and Financial Services, with 39% and 31% of companies led by female CEOs
  • The fastest growing sectors are Financial Services and Renewable Energy with revenue growth rates of 70% and 66% respectively
  • Consumer Services is the most represented sector with 79 companies from 20 countries, reflecting the growth of sub-sectors such as Consumer Goods, Food & Beverages, Leisure & Tourism, Media and Retail, and Africa’s growing middle class
  • Agriculture remains an important sector for the continent with 53 companies, almost 15% of those featured
  • The East-West African axis dominates this year’s report with 130 companies from Western Africa and 147 from Eastern Africa
  • The companies in this year’s report are creating significant employment opportunities across Africa, with average staff numbers of 360

The report was produced in partnership with CDC Group, African Development Bank Group, PwC and Asoko Insight who contributed their insight and expertise to select the featured companies, and the report is sponsored by Instinctif Partners and Stephenson Harwood.

A comprehensive searchable database of the report, along with a downloadable PDF of the publication is available at

London Stock Exchange Group has a long history of supporting the development of African capital markets and investment in African companies. To learn more, click here.


About CDC Group

CDC Group plc is the UK’s development finance institution.  Wholly owned by the UK Government, it invests in Africa and South Asia with the aim of supporting economic development to create jobs. CDC Group plc has invested in Africa since its establishment in 1948 and has net assets of £5.1 billion. CDC takes a flexible approach and provides capital in all its forms, including equity, debt, mezzanine and guarantees, to meet businesses’ needs and achieve development impact.

For media enquiries, please contact:

Clare Murray [email protected]

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