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Africa economy set to grow, attract FDI despite uncertainty

Despite a multitude of challenges, many of which are cyclical, Africa’s prospects remain positive and business leaders have the opportunity to pursue new business opportunities on the continent, according to a PricewaterhouseCooper (PwC) Africa report.

This could happen particularly in the light of rapid innovative and technological advances that have the potential to transform and shape industries.

Africa remains one of the preferred frontiers for investment opportunities and doing business, the Africa Business Agenda said. The report compiles results from 153 CEOs and includes insights from business and public sector leaders from across Africa.

PwC Africa CEO Hein Boegman said: “CEOs in Africa are ramping up their efforts to innovate and find new ways to do business on the continent in a move to stimulate growth in a challenging and uncertain global business environment.”

Looking at investment prospects, Kenya (22%), Uganda (20%) and South Africa (18%) remain the countries Africa CEOs view as most important for growth in the next 12 months, according to the report.

However, the leaders of these countries seem to have been caught in some sort of economic and political scandals which some say have tainted their countries at the international level.

While Uganda President Yoweri Museveni has been controversially reelected for an unconstitutional fifth term in office, his South African colleague Jacob Zuma is on the ropes for alleged state corruption and abuse of power.

Kenya President Jomo Kenyatta appears to be unable to exert total control over the country’s security forces, whose methods have been found by rights groups and Western countries to be brutal, cruel and inhuman.

But the report seems to have overlooked these critical negative trends, focusing instead, among others, on factors such as commodity prices, which have exposed the vulnerability of many natural resources-rich countries.

“The global financial and economic crisis has revealed Africa’s vulnerability to a number of external economic shocks,” the report said.

“These include the decline in commodity prices fuelled by the economic slowdown in China, a marked decline in the demand for commodities, and the collapse in value of the emerging market currencies against the US dollar in anticipation of an interest rate hike.”

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