BY Richard Summerfield
Although a lingering sense of scepticism surrounds the continent’s development, Africa’s economic outlook is on the up according to a new EY report. New-found confidence in Africa has been built on the impressive economic growth rates recorded by many country's across the continent.
EY’s report, ‘Africa 2030: Realising the possibilities’, builds on the firm’s previously Africa-centric series, ‘Africa Attractiveness’, which has been highlighting progress over the last 15 years. The report notes that, as a result of the last 14 years of sustained growth across Africa, the continent’s relative attractiveness as an investment destination has increased dramatically. The sub-Saharan region in particular has seen a jump in foreign direct investment (FDI), with projects growing at a compound rate of 19.5 percent between 2007 and 2013.
Looking to the future, entrepreneurship is likely to be a key driver of economic growth and job creation in Africa as we move toward 2030. EY expects that new products, services and problem solving will also help to drive the job creation needed to generate inclusive and sustainable growth.
Yet, despite the optimism, future success across the continent is in no way guaranteed. “There are still many challenges ahead, not least of which is a robust structural transformation — required across many economies — that will not only lessen dependency on commodities, but also expand the private sector, increase productivity levels and, most of all, create jobs,” says the report.