A note from our Chairman
The PIA is a group of private sector companies that is united and motivated by a common vision to help accelerate economic growth and social development across the African continent. Over the past two decades, Africa has boasted some of the highest growth rates in the world, but the impact of Covid-19 and global geo-political instability, notably the current Russia/Ukraine war, have led to many countries being thrown into recession with increasing inflation and interest rates.
The resilience of the African region depends on the strategies and policies countries adopt now. According to McKinsey and Company, the Covid-19 crisis “contains the seeds of a large-scale reimagination of Africa’s economic structure, service delivery systems and social contracts.” The crisis has accelerated trends such as digitalization and regional cooperation and is creating important new opportunities – such as the promotion of local industry and the upgrading of urban infrastructure.
The PIA is confident in the long-term outlook for Africa. The continent’s youthful and innovative population, its growing middle class and its ever-improving governance systems will go a long way to ensure economic recovery. In addition, the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) that became effective on January 1, 2021 is a game-changer for Africa and will cover a market of 1.2 billion customers, with the potential of increasing intra-African trade by over 50 percent.
While the continent’s abundant natural resources offer significant value-adding opportunities, it is important they are harnessed with as limited environmental impact as possible and in a manner that creates decent work opportunities, supports social inclusion and addresses Africa’s lack of energy but also acknowledges the continent’s limited historical contribution to global emissions.
We believe increasing the role of the private sector is an important driver for economic growth and can help transition economies from low-income to middle-income status. The level of cooperation with international institutions, governments and local partners has been encouraging, but it is critical that we continue working together to help rebuild our economies and prepare them for the future. Africa will emerge from these challenging times stronger and more resilient than ever before.
Chief Executive Officer, Africa Regions,
Standard Bank Group, PIA Chairman