What The UN Global Africa Business Initiative Means For Your Company

Africa has the potential to become one of the most important drivers of global business with a $2.5 trillion market opportunity. This was the position held by the UN, announcing the UN Global Africa Business Initiative, further identifying the continent as the “cornerstone of the world’s future”. This conference, which took place on the sideline of the UN General Assembly from September 18-19 2022, provided a meeting ground for heads of African states, UN corps, philanthropists, and members of the private sector to pioneer positive change towards a more inclusive, more sustainable, and more prosperous Africa.

Does this merely concern African businesses?

This plan is aimed primarily at creating a more conducive business environment within the continent, to foster entrepreneurship and help local business incentives thrive, on the way to “Unstoppable Africa”, as the tagline enthusiastically termed the endeavour.

But that does not mean it won’t impact global businesses as well. Indeed, the African continent is full of resources that are not necessarily being fully capitalised upon. That’s why this event, aimed at generating funds, was supported by Google, Rockefeller Foundation, and Mastercard Foundation among others, bringing together nearly 100 leaders from various fields like politics and economic development. On top of funding, a pivotal treaty namely, the Africa Continental Free Trade Area Agreement should ease trade, thanks to more flexible borders, whilst also making investment opportunities within the continent easier.

What are the potential benefits for your Global business?

A more open, prosperous, sustainable and business-ready Africa inevitably should start by leveraging two main opportunities to boost local economies, which will undeniably benefit local and global businesses alike:

1. Encourage education and capacity-building for a better-skilled workforce

According to the International Labour Organisation (ILO), young people aged 15-24 years old accounted for a third of the overall African working population in 2020. The same report disclosed an interesting finding on one of the main problems that crops up when recruiting in Africa: the lack of educated and experienced young professionals.

While African unenployment rates are close to normal global unemployment rates with an estimated 12.4 million unemployed youngsters in 2020, it does not reflect the skilled labour available on the market. For this reason, the Not in Employment, nor Education, nor Training (NEET) index was created and shows that 53.5 million young Africans have never had a job, and are not participating in education, nor training, mainly due to low income.

Imagine even 40 million of these young skilled Africans on the job market, elevating standards and driving healthy competition that, in turn, motivates them to learn and better themselves, even further, as key drivers of performance for your company.

2. Widespread telecommunications leads to smooth business-running and remote options

It is the basis of any smooth-running business. Yet, according to the International Finance Corporation (part of the World Bank Group), only 22 % of Africans had access to the Internet in 2017. With a goal of connecting all individuals, governments, and businesses by 2030 through funding, this project is a turning point of African business. It will increase your options for remote work facilities, while facilitating and speeding up business communications, and opening up new, inaccessible, but potentially cost-effective regions.

The hurdles that will remain, and how to overcome them

Slow administrative culture

Specially known for its slow administrative culture, registering your entity in Africa, as well as onboarding and registering your employees with the correct authorities, from labour offices to social security, often comes as a headache.

As an Employer of Record, Africa HR saves you this trouble by becoming the legal employer of your workforce, while handling a complete range of services, from onboarding to payroll, and being the main point of contact between your employees and yourself.

Strict legal compliance, with English and French legal systems

With new matters of government policy come new laws, especially within the framework of this initiative. This might have a widespread impact, from changes in sustainability regulations to a host of business-related laws across various sectors and revenue or employment laws.

Our bilingual teams and legal experts, in each of the 44 African countries we operate in, religiously keep up with the latest legal updates, as your compliance is our duty. While Employer of Record services guarantee legal compliance in terms of labour and contractual laws, Administrative Service Organisation (ASO) services ensure flawless auditing and reporting compliance across your countries of operation.

Complex tax mechanisms

New border agreements and trade legislation often result in amendments to taxation law and formalities, but fear not. Our Payroll services will carry the burden of tax compliance thanks to adequate tools, while simultaneously leveraging the growing connectivity within the continent to offer you state-of-the art payroll solutions such as Employee Self-Service Portals.

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GRANT GERAGHTY - Africa HR Team

GRANT GERAGHTY

HEAD OF CLIENT RELATIONSHIP

Grant Geraghty is the longest-serving member of the Africa HR team. This resident subject matter expert and client champion is responsible for gaining a deep understanding of our clients’ unique HR needs in Africa and providing tailored solutions that align with their business objectives. Grant collaborates closely with our clients to ensure that their requirements are properly implemented, providing ongoing support and guidance throughout the process.

Grant brings a wealth of experience to his role, having served as Africa HR’s longest-serving employee. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree, with a major in Economics and Business Finance, from the University of Natal in South Africa. Additionally, he has completed a certification program in Payroll and Tax Administration from the University of Cape Town, further enhancing his expertise in HR operations and compliance.

His commitment to delivering exceptional service and his extensive knowledge of HR in Africa make him an invaluable member of the Africa HR team.

KEVINA TAKOORDYAL Africa HR Team

KEVINA TAKOORDYAL

HEAD OF OPERATIONS

Kevina Takoordyal has a BA Hons Business Management from the University of Glamorgan, UK, with MBA in leadership and Innovation, MBA General, PMP Certified, and Agile Scrum Master. She currently works as the Head of Operations at Africa HR Solutions Ltd with more than 20 years of proven leadership capabilities in Operations, Business Development, People Management, Process Optimization, and Project Management in the Financial Services, BPO, Banking Industry, and Heath Care Industry. In Senior leadership roles with an international footprint across Europe working and extensive Pan- African experience from a compliance, finance, and operations angle, Kevina comes across with a panoply of cross-functional skills. Kevina also serves on a few Boards, Non-Independent Executive at MioD and for NGOs on a voluntary basis, a coach and mentor to aspiring female leaders across Africa and Mauritius.

Kevina is a firm believer in Servant Leadership with a strong focus and commitment to uplifting others, with the ability to deliver through a highly engaged – diverse team, and works towards consistently synergistic value creation. While being a focused and adaptive thinker and Kevina is actively participating in panel discussions on Innovation, CX, Digital transformation.

Kevina serves as Project Assessor for the National Youth upskilling program. She has been recognized as Global Talent in a few companies, Ceridian, and International SOS Ltd whereby she has been awarded a few scholarships and had the opportunity to be mentored by Senior Vice President in the US. Award Winner in various fields and at a national level and recognized including Super Achiever Leader Award in Africa in 2016, Awarded Africa Women Leader 2018.

VILOSHNA PACKIRY POULLE​

VILOSHNA PACKIRY POULLE

Head of Finance & Business Support

Viloshna is an experienced finance professional with 18 years of expertise in strategic financial planning, financial analysis, cash flow management, systems and controls implementation, financial reporting, and continuous process improvements. She currently serves as Head of Finance & Business Support, where she has successfully automated and leveraged the financial reporting system capabilities to ensure efficient company operations.

Viloshna’s background includes senior roles in a multinational pharmaceutical company and a large listed Mauritian conglomerate. Her meticulous attention to detail and strategic thinking have streamlined financial processes, making her a valuable addition to any finance team. Viloshna is a qualified finance professional with an FCCA qualification and an MBA, bringing valuable expertise to any organization.

In her current role, Viloshna leads the company’s Treasury and Payments function, including the fulfillment of the company’s cross-border payments into Africa. With her strong educational background and extensive experience, Viloshna consistently demonstrates her ability to optimize financial operations, minimize risks, and improve profitability. Her expertise in financial reporting and process improvements make her a valuable asset to any organization.

MARK DU PREEZ​

MARK DU PREEZ

Head of Legal & Compliance

A qualified lawyer who joined Africa HR Solutions in July 2020, Mark Du Preez has experience working in private practice for a reputable law firm in South Africa. He also played commercially focused roles at a leading private bank, wealth management company, and outsourcing firm in South Africa and Mauritius.

Mark has played a pivotal role in Africa HR Solution’s risk mitigation strategy, which positively impacted P&L performance over the years.

He currently leads the Partnerships function of the company including relationships and oversight with in-country partners (ICPs) across Africa.

Alex Daruty - Africa HR Team

ALEX DARUTY

Head of Commercial

Alex has more than 15 years of experience in the global, strategic development of both enterprise and consumer brands in categories including technology, transport, enterprise software, entertainment, and travel.

With experience in roles on both agency and corporate side, he has worked across international brands and has led the development and execution of multi-discipline campaigns across EMEA, NORAM and Asia Pacific.

His focus is on driving meaningful business impact through brand differentiation and building high-functioning, digitally oriented, and analytically driven capabilities. He is motivated by working with, and developing dynamic people, teams, and organizations.

He leads, manages, develops and mentors the Key Account Management department, including line management responsibility for the team of Key Account Managers and Key Account Administrator who represent the Company as the primary communication link between all relevant stakeholders, including clients, third party in-country partners and internal functions.

Originally from Mauritius, he holds bachelor’s degrees in International Business, Finance and Management from the University of Nevada, Reno.