Africa is a diverse continent and home to many divergent economies and industries. This has created a volatile business landscape that demands an understanding of the relevant risks involved. On the positive side, managing these risks effectively also opens up many opportunities for growth.
PwC is the right partner to have at your side as your business takes advantage of what Africa has to offer. The industry expertise that each of their professionals bring to bear facilitates the latest research, exposing the trends you should keep in mind to succeed. PwC has made another set of insights available to support and assist businesses throughout the continent with their Africa Business Agenda report.
Based on this report, CEO’s throughout Africa have expressed optimism regarding Africa’s revenue growth during the next 12 months. Ghana (94%), South Africa (90%), Zimbabwe (90%), and Rwanda (87%) are the most optimistic, with CEO’s in Gabon (30%), Tunisia (20%) and Côte d’Ivoire (17%) showing significantly less confidence.
The report also revealed that the central detractors to growth include bribery, corruption, and governments failing to meet their responsibilities. Other risks include inadequate infrastructure and a shortage of skills, none of which are new to businesses.
According to Suresh Kana, PwC Senior Partner for Africa, “…agility in response to change, challenge and opportunity is the deciding factor between companies that thrive in Africa and those that are merely doing business.” This insight stems from the survey answers from 301 CEOs in Africa, across businesses and public sectors. These results show that most CEOs in Africa feel equipped to manage risk, and they understand that doing so requires competent employees. With the use of talent management strategies, these companies work to secure top skills throughout Africa.
Regional Senior Partner for the East Market Region in Africa, Anne Eriksson, confirms that “…agility is the main underlying factor that allows companies to realise their full potential.”
But precisely how do businesses show themselves to be agile? Agility is generally being employed at the strategic level, with most CEOs anticipating changes to overarching strategy within the next 12 months. Flexibility at this level is part and parcel of delivering on their top three investment priorities: growing customer bases, enhancing customer services, and implementing new technology.
When it comes to the technology arena, Kenya, South Africa, and Morocco, are leading, and these are developments that support the management of risk, talent development, and retention. Growth also depends on satisfying customers and retaining operational efficiency, so a third of CEOs have been found investing in new products and providing service development; another third are focusing on organic growth in their existing domestic markets; and the other third are pursuing organic growth in existing foreign markets, new foreign markets, and business relationships.
Most CEOs also anticipate continual change in the business environment, with a 7% increase in the expected change to customer growth, retention, and loyalty strategies. This reveals an awareness of the need for agility in order to manage constant risk.
And while most CEOs agree that infrastructure remains one of the central risks, they also identified the importance of financial sector stability and reducing poverty and inequality as further areas where the government must take action. In addition, CEOs perceive over-regulation to be a further threat to growth.
The skills shortage is another weakness in Africa’s fast-growing markets, and 84% of CEOs consider creating and fostering a skilled workforce a priority, with a focus on filling talent gaps. Retaining talent is also an important issue for all countries surveyed, and Kenya (97%), Tanzania (90%), and Uganda (100%) firmly believe that matching pay is a key factor when it comes to losing talent to the competition.
The data and impactful insights presented in this report equips businesspeople throughout Africa to succeed. It is PwC’s priority to unearth the latest trends, and their continental footprint has given them access to the realities on the ground, enabling them to provide clients with the most in-depth knowledge of the challenges their industry contends with.
Just imagine what PwC could do for you as a constant companion in the business world.
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