Opportunities and Challenges

opportunities infographic
Supply chain optimisation
Employee wellbeing

Key facts and figures

  •  54 sovereign states
  •  1 billion people
  •  US$2 trillion Africa’s collective GDP (more than India, less than Brazil)
  •  7 African countries among the 10 fastest growing economies in the world 2010-15
  •  5.5% Africa’s share of global FDI projects
  •  26 states form the Tripartite Free Trade Agreement
  •  US$85 billion funding for African infrastructure in 2010
  •  17 African countries ahead of India on the World Bank’s Doing Business Index
  •  The number of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) projects in Africa grew 27% from 2010 to 2011, and have grown at a compound rate of close to 20% since 2007

Supply chain optimization

  • Regional economic integration- including trade facilitation reforms- now a high level agenda priority.
  • Sub-Saharan Africa leading in the number of reforms making electricity regulations more business-friendly.
  • Inefficient trade environment: logistical barriers (time and cost of transport), documentation requirements and lengthy border procedures.
  • Infrastructure and power deficits as growth inhibitors.


  • In many countries, relative political stability is encouraging direct foreign investment (notably in natural resources).
  • Overall decline in war and civil strife.
  • In many countries, lack of transparency and corruption still a problem.
  • Lack of impactful legal institutions able to enforce business regulation.
  • In some countries, political instability/risks remain.


  • Improvements in education and returning diaspora members improving and broadening quality of leadership.
  • Private citizens increasingly involved in politics & civil-society groups.
  • Limited talent pipeline.
  • Low global competitiveness of the region

Employee wellbeing

  • Malaria deaths and HIV infections has decreased in many of the worst-affected countries.
  • Falling child mortality and increasing life expectancy.
  • Continuous battle against HIV/AIDS
  • Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) a rising concern.
  • Rise of malaria and TB related illnesses