WEF Africa 2016
Confidence in the Continent
FTI Consulting’s third annual survey ahead of the World Economic Forum’s 2016 African summit builds on the findings of previous years, examining the ways in which opinion leaders perceive general risk and appetite for investment in the continent and discusses the drivers and sectors for continued commitment and development.
Overall, while the international business community stills displays appetite for exploring business opportunities in Africa, perceptions of risks have grown by 10% in one year, and the essentiality of Africa in strategic growth has declined by one third.
The top three barriers perceived as holding back the international community from considering Africa as essential to strategic growth [political instability (61%), red tape and bureaucracy (57%), risks of breaching bribery and corruption regulations (56%)] may be directly influenced by regional authorities and national governments’ ability to develop and maintain good governance, with security and terrorist threats ranked closely behind; 51% of respondents rating these as obstacles to developing their footprint in African markets.
However, while Africa is not immune to the global issues of security and macro-economic uncertainty, there is an emerging trust in its business community, with two thirds of respondents identifying African business leaders as the most effective at encouraging the right sort of investments into Africa to help boost the economy and benefit to society. Concurrent with our 2015 results, respondents have reiterated that businesses need to become more effective communicators and that African governments should be more realistic about what investments can achieve.