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How African SMEs are changing development paradigm, by Sanders

By Editor   |   09 March 2017   |   4:00 am

Through innovative and technologically advanced solutions to social problems, African Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), have helped to drive economic development, growth and aided in increasing the size of the Continent’s middle class, Ambassador Robin Renee Sanders has said.

Sanders, in her new book on, The Rise of Africa’s Small & Medium Size Enterprises noted that there is a dramatic shift in the development paradigm for Sub Saharan Africa, driven largely by the imaginative, innovative and instant -impact leadership of the region’s small businesses or SMEs.

She argued that it is the ‘Rise of the Africa SMEs’ – converging with technology and its mobility that changed over the last decade, the focus and direction of development in Sub Saharan Africa.


“Africa’s dynamic entrepreneurial spirit of Generation-Xers and Millennials’ are and have formed SMEs and social enterprises that today are responsible for inventing many of the new apps, and conceiving better answers in response to the region’s age-old poverty issues,” Sanders noted.

She added that, “Africa SMEs are not only a key driver for jobs, but serve as an additional catalyst to grow the middle class.”

The book was introduced by renowned civil rights leader, Ambassador Andrew Young, while the Foreword was done by Africa’s leading businessman, Mr. Aliko Dangote.

Sanders credited the determination of Africa SMEs and entrepreneurs (which includes African nationals, immigrants and the Africans in Diaspora) for stepping into the void left by 40 years of post-independence development efforts that had little impact on reducing overall poverty and creating jobs in the region.

A review of the book showed that it has a few vignettes of Sanders’ work over the years with Africa SMEs during her diplomatic life and as CEO of the FEEEDS Advocacy Initiative. It also has regional examples of some of the innovative things Africa entrepreneurs are doing in sectors ranging from agriculture, education, and food security to energy and climate change.

The book also walks readers through what donors, foundations and African stock markets are doing today to help in the SME space.




  • Of a truth, African SME is the catalyst that have increased the rate of job creation, employment and the overall living conditions of the middle class.
    As I learnt from a forum ( westentrepreneur.com) the increase in SME should be encouraged as its the only, presently working measures that increase the living condition of the middle class, not to forget the provision of jobs and employment it proffers too. Nice one SANDERS.

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