Individuals and businesses join the African Business Roundtable for numerous reasons, and the organization’s objectives have been carefully designed to serve them. Today the ABR represents companies of all sizes, and its members include businesses across every sector of the economy, chambers, business associations, and private sector organizations. The African Business Roundtable’s key activities include trade and investment missions, economic summits, research, business information and communication, policy commission, advocacy functions, general meetings, trainings and development.
Under the current leadership held by Samuel Doussou-Aworet, a pioneer in the oil and gas sector of Africa, the ABR has laid out strategies for furthering the interests of both its members and the private business sector of the continent. The Roundtable has come a long way and seen many modifications but since its formation 32 years ago, it has demonstrated a pattern of inclusiveness and collaboration not common among inter-African organizations.
One outstanding feature of the ABR is the progressiveness it has always exemplified. At a time when women were pretty much excluded from prominent entreprise, businesswomen from all over the continent played critical, founding roles at the organization.
Kenyan pioneer and entrepreneur, Evelyn Karungari Mungai, was the first woman to join the ABR, and she started the first ever school of design in East Africa in 1976. Dr. Erieka Bennett, who currently heads the Missions of the (AU) Diaspora African Forum, the ﬁrst diplomatic mission of its kind in the world, has also played a vice-presidential role at the ABR.
Other women of repute to grace the African Business Roundtable include. Françoise Foning, who founded the Association of Cameroonian Businesswomen and was the Vice President of the World Association of Women Entrepreneurs, Ms Touré Diabaté Massogbè of Cote d’Ivoire, CEO of SITA Group, Eniola Fadayomi of Nigeria, chairman of Africa Prudential, and Erelu Abiola Dosunmu, one of the first women to export crude oil from Nigeria and that also promoted the Yoruba culture by setting up her aso-oke store on New Bond Street in London.
Ever embracing strategic alliances and fresh perspectives, the African Business Roundtable is welcoming new members to its organization, and individuals and businesses may contact the Secretariat to communicate their interest.
Some of the benefits that members of the African Business Roundtable enjoy include: Capacity Building: By reason of the targeted training which we host for all industries represented in ABR, our members enjoy an exclusive opportunity to develop capacity for exponential business growth and impact. Thus far, this has been demonstrated through the successes recorded by our members. Our training equips businesses with the skills that facilitate their improvement and strengthens their industry’s ecosystem.
Intercontinental Business Opportunities: Through some of our activities in the ABR, members meet financial partners from across the globe and can fully harness intercontinental business opportunities way before their competitors.
Pan-African Trade and Investment Opportunities: Members can obtain business information, trade and investment opportunities in Africa through their involvement in the ABR. As an institution, we readily communicate available trade and investment opportunities to members; furthermore, we have created a platform that can facilitate the mutual exchange of such opportunities among members.
Frontline Access to Critical Trade Discussions: Included in our members are men and women who influence policy development. For policies to be effective however, we believe that they need to take into consideration the realities of the people they cater to. For this reason, ABR enables members get to lend their perspective on leading issues in trade, investment and more, so that theyare well-represented.
Global Business Visibility: Top on the list of ABR’s objectives is creating a platform that facilitates the success of our members. Thus our activities are designed to give our members’ businesses far-reaching visibility both locally and internationally. Additionally, we supplement this with regular discussions which we facilitate on best strategies to adapt for success in both markets, as well as providing invaluable networking opportunities through which members can find potential business and investment partners.
Anniversary Book: “With over 30 years of impact, value, and learning behind us, we look forward to the next thirty years, confident that we are better prepared for the future. We have taken a comprehensive diagnostic of our history and we will continue to strengthen our relations with international bodies and other relevant stakeholders. We believe that with the objective and insightful review of our past, we are better informed to make the most of our future. www.abrnetwork.org
About the African Business Roundtable
The African Development Bank Group set up the African Business Roundtable in 1990. Today the ABR is Africa’s foremost and continent-wide association of businesses and business leaders, and is the representative of the African Business Society to the United Nations. An independent, non-partisan, non-profit private sector funded organization, The African Business Roundtable is an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC) and is the only organization representing the African Private Sector within ECOSOC.