From recognising potential to achieving growth

12 October 2014

Favourable growth prospects in Africa, especially in the context of the global economic crisis, have put the spotlight on Africa. We could not record the number of reports, press articles and top executive interviews over the past months alone talking about Africa. Africa is the next frontier for most company executives and investors, who have ambitious plans for the continent. Indeed, 90% of African CEOs interviewed for this issue of The Africa Business Agenda told us that they were confident of mid-term prospects for their businesses, with just more than half (51%) saying they are ‘very confident’.

Interestingly, CEOs are slightly more anxious about short-term prospects for their companies and industries. Although 84% remain confident overall, only 40% say they are ‘very confident’. CEOs are actually aware that a lot still needs to be done to convert the continent’s potential for exponential growth into tangible business opportunities, at a country as well as a company level. For many, the key will be to manage growth effectively in order to create sustainable, stable and more equal countries and companies. This will not be an easy job.

African CEOs have started to change. They have realized that growing too fast without first building solid foundations will lead to disappointment and value destruction, not only for them, but also – and more importantly – for society at large. As a consequence, they are currently focusing on building the right organisations and reducing costs and inefficiencies while investing in technology, thereby preparing their companies for higher agility and sustainable growth. This higher maturity will impact international companies, as Africa’s CEOs are becoming increasingly demanding of their partners in their search for long-term win-win deals.

Certainly the public sector has a lot to do despite noticeable improvement over the past years. This is nothing new. What is new, however, is the fact that the private sector has started to play a leading role in transforming Africa, solving socio-economics issues and building Africa growth drivers.

In short, Africa is, more than ever, open for business, and it has entered a new cycle. 

Edouard Messou | Territory Senior Partner, PwC Francophone Africa Market region 
Profile | Email | +225 20 31 54 12

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