Boardroom News – What Africa’s CEO’s Say About The Current Business Climate

business climate in AfricaAs difficulties in the global economy continue, with on-going economic problems in Europe and a slowdown in China on the cards, the focus very often shifts to Africa which is showing signs of developing fast-growing economies and successful corporations.

As Africa sheds its image of poverty and war to emerge as a fast-developing continent, a recent PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) survey asked 201 of the continents top CEOs their views on business opportunities, economic prospects and strategy issues as they continue to expand their companies to take advantage of new opportunities in the region. Here are some interesting findings from the survey

Business Growth

As corporations in many parts of the world struggle to grow their organisations competitively, Africa’s CEOs were optimistic about growth prospects over the next three years. 95% of CEOs in the survey were confident that their businesses would expand, with executives in Uganda, Nigeria and Kenya displaying the highest levels of confidence.

Business Strategy

CEOs of African corporations will be changing their strategies over the next three years to take advantage of growth and new business opportunities, with 79% of respondents confirming that their business strategies would be changing over this period. South African CEOs were even keener on changing strategies, with 88% of local CEOs planning to make strategy changes over the next three years.

Business Challenges

79% of African CEOs in the survey expressed their concern about risk on the continent, which was responsible for changes in business strategy in over 60% of corporations. The challenges facing African CEOs included unpredictable economic growth, government policy issues, corruption, foreign exchange controls, and levels of debt. Concerns about the global economy also weighed on the minds of most CEOs in the survey.

Africa’s Economy

African corporations are operating in a fast-growing African economy, with growth rates ranging from 3.1% in South Africa to an impressive 14.1% in Angola. However, the risks involved in many African markets are still significant, causing Africa’s CEOs to tread carefully in certain markets.

For investors, this survey paints an excellent picture of Africa’s growth prospects. If stability and growth is achieved, Africa may well become an excellent investment destination for investors in South Africa and abroad.

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