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Africa open to opportunity

BEA DOTTIN, [email protected]

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There are opportunities in Africa and elsewhere for the private sector to capitalise on. Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) president Tracey Shuffler highlighted this point as she reported on a recent meeting between Barbadian stakeholders and an unnamed “prominent Nigerian businessman”.
In her message published in the BCCI’s July newsletter, Shuffer said “the new model for private sector development must rely on innovation to drive growth of more shock proof, high-demand goods and services which lend themselves well to export”.
“In a recent meeting of Barbadian stakeholders with a prominent Nigerian businessman, he shared his country’s desire to find solar and wind-based energy solutions to their country’s chronic shortage of power which is stunting industrial development. The Barbadian private sector should be in a position to capitalise on such development needs should the opportunities prove feasible,” she said.
“Two critical elements required to help drive innovation are an enabling environment at a national level as well as the same at the organisational level. The former will include continued efforts to align educational curricula with tax reforms and legislative and regulatory framework review to name a few.
“At an organisational level, a culture which allows innovation to thrive, with appropriate incentives pitched at each level of employee including shared reward systems for breakthrough processes and products is key,” she added.
Shuffler also said “the drive to chart paths for new business opportunity development has been a hallmark of successful economies in the region and beyond and we must be prepared to do so with urgency”.
“It is evident these are times which will force survival of the fittest strategies into play as the private sector evolves from the pre-2007 business era to the ongoing environment in which we now exist.”
“Those Caribbean economies showing greater promise are those which have a healthy mix of international business, value added manufacturing, tourism and other export oriented activity.” (SC)