Africa’s CEO’s are more upbeat than CEOs globally when it comes to predicting growth, according to a new survey released yesterday.
The survey, entitled The Africa Business Agenda, was conducted by PricewaterhouseCooper, who interviewed 201 CEOs across the 10 countries in Africa.
The survey found that 90 percent of CEOs on the continent are confident of growth prospects and expect operations to grow in Africa. This is on average higher than the percentages of CEOs which are confident about growth prospects globally, which stands at 75 percent.
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Over the next 12 months, 40 percent of CEO’s intent to complete a cross-border merger and 54 percent will enter into a new strategic alliance or joint venture.
A greater percentage of CEOs in Africa are concerned about global risks like the impact of terrorism, climate change, health crises and natural disasters than CEO’s globally. CEOs in Africa are also most aligned on risks which are local, for example the exchange rate and inadequate infrastructure.
Political instability, however, only concerns African CEOs one percent more than the global average- 59 percent in Africa compared to 58 percent globally. CEOs in Africa mitigate political instability by investing in different countries, thereby reducing their risk exposure.
Surprisingly, CEOs in South Africa were less confident about growth prospects than their peers across the continent, with only 47 percent of CEOs describing themselves as ‘very confident’ about the prospects of revenue growth next year, which is significantly below the 64 percent average for Africa.
“The broad view is South Africa is not the gateway into Africa. Global investors are looking for ease of access into markets,” said Suresh Kana, CEO of PwC Southern Africa told Business Day. Some “locational advantages” are also becoming more prominent, such as the cost saved in supplying Europe with goods from East Africa.