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Multinational companies seeking to establish or grow their presence in Africa are looking for qualified and experienced professionals to lead their organisations, both in South Africa and on the rest of the continent.

This is according to Debbie Goodman-Bhyat, CEO of Jack Hammer.

Jack Hammer is an executive search firm in Africa, and Goodman-Bhyat said that in the past year there has been a 75% increase in briefs from US-based businesses seeking assistance with leadership appointments in Africa.

Goodman-Bhyat said they have identified specific niches where top leaders are in high demand but low supply, particularly within US-based tech and private equity businesses, with their portfolio companies or operational entities based in Africa.

Trends observed throughout Jack Hammer’s Africa partners – in Ghana, Nigeria, Egypt, Kenya and Tanzania – indicate that it has become increasingly onerous for foreign professionals to enter local markets, which has left top companies hamstrung in their attempts to build strong teams. “As a result of this demand for expert insight into the leadership landscape on the continent in the face of an urgent need for qualified and experienced leaders, we are in the process of setting up offices in the two key US markets from where Africa expansion mandates have been received,” she said.

“We will be able to grow and service clients most effectively by having a presence in the US, and it will also place us in a uniquely competitive position, given that there are no US search firms with the footprint and on-the-ground presence that we have in Africa.”

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