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Welcome to the very first issue of DECIBEL – the new magazine for Barclays Africa’s Corporate and Investment Banking division.

With the first anniversary of the creation of Barclays Africa Group Ltd upon us, it seems an appropriate time to reflect on the wonderful opportunities that lie ahead for the business to grow and evolve to meet its goal of becoming the ‘Go-To’ bank for Africa.

The recent strides made in building out the Corporate Banking offering in South Africa have provided a solid foundation for growth across the continent. Similarly, the Investment Banking division has set its sights on targeting the continent’s top 100 companies in a bid to provide them with the funding they need to help Africa realise its ambitions. Within the pages of DECIBEL, we provide insight into the growth strategies of both of these divisions, as well as an overarching piece featuring Stephen van Coller, who sets out how we will go about realising our ambition to expand across Africa.

One of the main reasons many investors around the globe are interested in Africa is its wealth of minerals and other natural resources. Of course, in order to maximise the available opportunities there’s a need to develop the necessary infrastructure, which in turn provides opportunities for our business to provide funding. Considering just one element of this required infrastructure, DECIBEL takes a look at the role that renewable energy can play in Africa’s future. And it’s pleasing to note that CIB Africa is already a well-entrenched player in providing financing in this space.

Another phenomenon that seems particularly relevant to Africa is the purchase by Barclays of 49 percent of peer to peer lending platform RainFin. Why so relevant to Africa? Well, with a relatively low percentage of the continent’s population not having access to formal financial services, it makes great business sense for us to be ‘in on the ground floor’ of this innovative approach to lending.

With women’s month still fresh in our minds you’ll also find articles on some incredibly strong and inspiring women in these pages. From our interview with Chichi Maponya, who has stepped out of the shadow of her famous father to become a respected businessperson in her own right, to a report back from our Banking on Women event, featuring the likes of Nicky Newton-King and Zelda la Grange. We also interview our very own Annah Watkinson – a triathlete who faced adversity in her journey to success, but discovered within herself the tenacity to achieve her goals.

This inaugural edition of DECIBEL contains a wide selection of stories, so there should be something of interest for everyone. But, this is your magazine, so if you have an interesting story to relay to your colleagues, perhaps an unusual hobby or outside interest, we’d love to hear from you. In fact, if you have any comments or feedback whatsoever about DECIBEL, we’d really welcome your input.

Please email Michelle Barnes
and let us know your thoughts.

Happy reading.

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Update on: 2016-08-05

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