Published On: 01/11/2017

Dubai, UAE: Investing in Africa should be part of a long-term strategy and investors should do their due diligence before putting their money in the fast-changing market, Bob Diamond, Founding Partner and Chief Executive Officer of Atlas Merchant Capital told delegates during the 4th Global Business Forum on Africa in Dubai.

He advised prospective investors to answer three specific questions before making any financial commitments or decisions, namely if they believe Africa is a market where they would like to be for the long term, which sectors are they keen to enter, and which leaders are driving business on the continent.

Speaking during a session entitled “Future of Financial Services in Africa”, Diamond said the current and future approach to banking on the continent should be a purely African model that is based on local and a multi-country strategy.

Highlighting the success of Atlas in Africa, Diamond described execution as the fundamental driver behind the company’s strong performance. He explained that Atlas went into Africa during a difficult macroeconomic environment, adding that the company made a decision to out-execute the competition.

Diamond noted that governments in Africa have been very receptive to investment proposals in financial services, and said that the dynamics for trade in Africa are compelling. However, he stressed the need for concerted efforts to enhance the mobility of people, travel, goods and services.

“African countries must open their borders for things that are good for the economy. Investors who will win are those who focus on multiple countries and invest in information technology and digitalisation,” he said.

The 4th Global Business Forum on Africa, organised by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, is taking place November 1st and 2nd, 2017 at Dubai’s Madinat Jumeirah. The high-level event is being held under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

The Global Business Forum series, launched by the Dubai Chamber in 2013, focuses on Africa, the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and Latin America. To date, the series has hosted 10 heads of state, 74 ministers and dignitaries, and 5,400 executives, as well as a host of influential decision makers from 65 countries around the world.