African nations must be allies, not rivals, in a post-pandemic world

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By Yamkela Makupula, CEO of the Diaz Reus South Africa office.

In October 2018, when President Cyril Ramaphosa invited investors for the first SA investment conference, I was still a partner at PwC, assisting black firms to expand their businesses through strategic assets.

I was close to concluding one of my biggest deals with a black consortium looking to buy a commercial bank in SA. The consortium comprised former and current top bankers and corporate executives. Halfway through, we hit a funding hurdle.

I was dealing with highly skilled black South Africans with the potential to disrupt the white-dominated financial services sector, but they were hindered by a lack of available finance. According to the Reserve Bank, you need to have R250m available to acquire a banking licence. They needed financial assistance to acquire such a high-valued asset, so they headed to the UK to look for investors. But due to the state of our economy at that time, the investors were wary of investing billions of rand in SA.