Following the inaugural meeting of the Pan African Franchise Federation in May 2013 and subsequent meetings since then, the Constitution of the Pan African Franchise Federation was signed at FASA”s Franchise Week in April in 2015 – marking the start of a new era for franchising in Africa.
With interest from African countries including Egypt, Ethiopia, Mauritius, Tanzania and Nigeria, the objective of the Pan African Franchise Federation was to bring together franchise associations from as many African countries as possible in order to promote the concept of franchising as a business format that would encourage entrepreneurship, play a role in skills transfer and above all create much needed jobs.
According to Vera Valasis, Executive Director of FASA, the time was right to bring African countries together to explore the opportunities that franchising can bring to growing African economies. “Whilst we in South Africa have had a thriving first-world franchise sector since the 1960’s, with over 80% of our franchise concepts home-grown and have also ventured into Africa with many of our food and retail brands, Africa as a whole has lagged behind in franchise development. It is now time that we play a bigger role in promoting franchising and expanding this unique business format to not just select countries, but to the continent as a whole.”
The World Franchise Council, a global non-political association representing franchise associations around the world of which FASA is a member of long standing, encourages its members to provide a leading and educational role in franchising on their respective continents and to this end there has long been talk of establishing a Pan African Franchise Federation representing the African continent.
“Within the WFC”, says Vera Valasis, “there are two successful federations – the European Franchise Federation that represents national franchise associations from countries in Europe and the Asia pacific Franchise Confederation that represent 12 countries in the region. With economic growth in third world countries overtaking established economies and a fast growing demand for every type of consumer goods and services, it is time that Africa formed a Pan African Franchise Federation to assisting with spearheading franchise growth throughout the continent.”
As the longest standing franchise association on the African continent, FASA’s hosting of the annual meetings of the Pan African Franchise Federation puts the spotlight firmly on South Africa and its thriving franchise sector that contributes around 10% to the country’s GDP. Delegates from various countries in Africa as well representatives from the World Franchise Council met not only to pave the way forward to establishing franchise associations in other parts of Africa but to see for themselves the success of franchising in South Africa.
Two of FASA”s office bearers, Peter Moyanga (Past Chairman) and FASA’s legal advisor Eugene Honey have been active in promoting the principles of franchising through seminars held throughout the continent in association with Standard Bank and the African Development Bank. According to them, Africa is at the beginning of an enormous growth curve. “Africa’s hidden strength is its growing middle class. In 2008 the continent’s combined GDP was R11.2 trillion which was larger than that of India and on a par with that of Brazil and Russia combined. It is estimated that consumer spending on the continent will, in the next few years, be R9.8 trillion.” Growth, according to these experts, lies in the private sector which will be the driver of growth in Africa. “Africa needs new enterprises that create jobs and wealth and it is the small and medium enterprise sector that carries the hope for the continent and the route Africa must pursue.”
Although very few African countries, at this stage, have franchise associations, the aim of the Pan African Franchise Federation would be to protect, promote and develop ethical franchising within Africa. A steering committee, under the auspices of FASA in South Africa and under the chairmanship of Eugene Honey will work towards establishing best practices going forward and stewardship to the industry across the continent.