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Africa’s retail SMEs optimistic about future growth

By our News Team | 2021

Seventy-eight percent of SMEs in retail across Middle East and Africa optimistic about future growth – Mastercard Confidence Index.

Small and medium enterprise (SME) confidence across most sectors is on the rise in Africa, according to the latest research by Mastercard. This comes notwithstanding the widespread impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The inaugural Mastercard Middle East and Africa (MEA) SME Confidence Index found that 78% of SMEs in the region’s retail sector are optimistic about the next 12 months. Confidence levels were highest among retail businesses, slightly ahead of other sectors, like food and beverage, entertainment, construction and manufacturing.

In addition, 70% of SMEs in retail are projecting revenues that will either grow or hold steady. Half are projecting an increase.

Photo by monkeybusinessimages on iStock

Access to skills, digital payments and data key for future growth

Many regional economies are gradually re-entering the normalisation and growth phase, as social restrictions continue to ease. In this process, SMEs in the African retail sector have identified the top drivers for growth as being:

  • Training and upskilling staff (55%)
  • Acceptance of digital payments (49%)
  • Better data and insights (49%)
  • Easier access to finance (49%).

As part of their support to the retail sector, payment processing companies typically offer technology, data insights, consulting and predictive analytics solutions to empower retailers to acquire new customers, enhance customer loyalty and improve operations.

This provides retailers with insights and a 360-degree view of their shoppers, with the payment processing operator’s platforms and services translating those data-driven insights into action.

For many small businesses, reducing their dependence on cash through digital payments acceptance, has played a major factor in being able to get paid and maintain revenues.

Source: Mastercard

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    Dr Kin Kariisa

    Group CEO - Next Media

    Dr. Kin Kariisa is an extraordinary force at the helm of Next Media Services, a conglomerate encompassing NBS TV, Nile Post, Sanyuka TV, Next Radio, Salam TV, Next Communication, Next Productions, and an array of other influential enterprises. His dynamic role as Chief Executive Officer exemplifies his unwavering commitment to shaping media, business, and community landscapes.
    With an esteemed academic journey, Dr. Kariisa’s accolades include an Honorary PhD in exemplary community service from the United Graduate College inTexas, an MBA from United States International University in Nairobi, Kenya, a Master’s degree in Computer Engineering from Huazong University in China, and a Bachelor’s degree in Statistics from Makerere University.
    Dr. Kariisa pursued PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radboud University in Nijmegen, Netherlands. As a dynamic educator, he has shared his expertise as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at both Makerere University and Radboud University.

    Dr Kin did his PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radbond University in Nigmegen, Netherlands. He previously served as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda and Radbond University in Netherlands.

    Dr Kin did his postgraduate courses in Strategic Business Management, Strategic Leadership Communication and Strategies for Leading Successful Change Initiatives at Harvard University, Boston USA.

    • Other current and previous roles played by Dr Kin Kariisa:
    • Lecturer of e-Government and Information Security to graduate students at Makerere University, Kampala and Radbond University in the Netherlands
    • Director of Eco Bank Uganda Limited, one of the largest banks in Africa
    • Chairman of the National Association of Broadcasters, an umbrella industry association for all Television, Radio and online broadcasters in Uganda.
    • Chairman of Board of Directors of Nile Hotel International, that owns the leading hotel in Uganda, Kampala Serena Hotel.
    • Chairman of Board of Directors of Soliton Telmec Uganda, the leading telecom company in Optic fibre business managing over 80% of optic fibre in Uganda.