Africa in 2017: Shaping the continent's future
Summary report of the conference held in Johannesburg
With vast untapped resources and favourable demographics Africa's potential has been highlighted many times. For instance the African Development Bank (AfDB) states that Africa has just over 30% of the world’s mineral resources and half of the continent’s one billion people will be of working age by 2020. However, major gaps still remain between the continent’s resource abundance and its achievements.
- 2016 was a rather challenging year for a number of African economies. There are six key forces that are likely to shape Africa in 2017.
- Good governance and increased growth must form the pillars of how businesses think about both policy and execution. Bad governance leads to long-term decline and policy decline.
- In 2016, Africa recorded its lowest growth in over a decade. Despite this record low, a number of companies continue to succeed. The success of these winning companies is often based on careful due diligence and planning prior to entering new markets as well as investments and attempts to localise operations once the new market has been entered.
- Private equity (PE) is increasingly playing an important role in economic and social development on the African continent. While PE activity in the last few years has been growing, the question is whether this upward trend can be sustained in the near future.
- Weak global demand for raw materials triggered a rapid decline in economic activities and decelerated economic growth in SSA from 3.4% in 2015 to 1.6% in 2016.
- Some of the factors that are likely to shape the continent’s future include the industrial capacity developed in Africa and the infrastructure that is needed in order to be able to produce and deliver products and services to consumers.