On May 11 and 12, 2011, the Southern Africa Trust supported by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GIZ, held a workshop to identify obstacles of implementing the Base of the Pyramid (BoP) and Inclusive Business concepts that are specifically relevant for the southern African region. Companies actively developed a list of the major hindering factors and recommendations for the implementation of the above concepts based on the current regional integration approach.
Both BoP and inclusive business concepts include the poor in the value chain of a company holding much potential for increased profitability and new markets for the private sector, provide jobs and incomes, and results in economic development. The current regulatory framework and business environment of regional integration does not sufficiently support the companies in regionally rolling out these new concepts. Their success depends on the creation of an appropriate enabling environment, for example focusing on improved:
- Customs and trade;
- Tax systems;
- Access to Finance;
- Information, etc.
This will also lead to an improved investment climate. The workshop was specifically offered to companies from nine SADC countries. The companies were invited due to their current activities or plans in the field of BoP/inclusive business and represented, amongst others, the industry sectors of agriculture, retail, mining, finance, insurance, mining, and logistics.