The New Africa: Emerging Opportunities for Business and Africa
The world is waking up to a new Africa. The predominant theme in the emerging narrative is no longer war, famine and disease but rather strong economic performance. The resources industry has played an important role in this shift but economic diversification is coming to many African countries, where an expanding consumer base is fuelling growth in other sectors. And measurable improvements in governance and human development suggest that these changes will be lasting.
Investors are realising that Africa is good for business. Strong economic growth, business friendly reforms, mature financial institutions and some large economies (South Africa, Nigeria and Egypt among them) add up to an enticing proposition. It is no wonder that foreign investment in Africa is showing strong growth and that returns on investment in Africa, both foreign and domestic, are among the highest in the world.
Increased investor interest is having a beneficial impact on many African countries: business is good for Africa. Investment is creating jobs which have a wide ripple effect. And foreign companies are helping to develop domestic industries through the transfer of skills and technology and by generating demand for extended supply chains.
A sharper investor appetite for African opportunities is sparking a virtuous circle of developments. As companies wake up to Africa’s potential, they are making investments which develop local industries. As those economies grow, they present yet more opportunities to investors and spur governments to make their business environment more attractive to investors.
Our Report – produced in partnership with Ernst and Young – covers three themes: Africa’s Prospects are Improving; Africa is Good for Business; and Business is Good for Africa. A core message is that Africa has turned a new page. The prospects look bright and this is only the start of the story. For those of us who know Africa, this is not a surprising story, but it is one we have the duty to tell to those who are yet to wake up to the changed reality across the continent.
This article was written for New Africa: Emerging Opportunities for Business and Africa a publication by Business Action for Africa in partnership with Ernst & Young and CDC