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African CEOs most worried about uncertainties in policy, security, skill gap—PwC

Though more revelations are still emerging from the 7th edition of PwC’s Africa Business Agenda 2019 report, launched at the biannual World Economic Forum on Africa in Cape Town.

Latest in the report said “Ongoing economic, social and political uncertainty is a perennial worry for CEOs globally, not least for those in Africa. Concerns over policy uncertainty, skills shortage, over-regulation and exchange rate volatility lead the long list of risks causing anxiety for CEOs in all regions.”

According to PwC Group, “What stands out in these findings is that a consistently higher proportion of African CEOs say they are ‘extremely concerned’ about these issues compared to their global peers. While this is troubling both for businesses and the countries in which they operate, it is noteworthy that the proportion of CEOs who are concerned has in many cases declined since our previous survey. For instance, 39% of African CEOs were concerned about social instability in 2019 (Global: 18%) – this was a significant improvement on the previous year’s results (50%), suggesting that in many countries conditions are ‘less bad’ than they were before.”

The report averred further that “Africa’s CEOs’ are mostly concerned about socio-political and economic threats, with 41% ‘extremely concerned’ about uncertain economic growth (Global 24%), unemployment (Africa 33%; Global 13%); populism (Africa 33%; Global 28%), exchange rate volatility (Africa 42%; Global 26%) and inadequate basic infrastructure (Africa 35%; Global 17%).

“Of business threats, 43% of African CEOs (compared to 35% globally) said they were ‘extremely concerned’ about over regulation, 35% (compared to 30% globally) cited cyber threats, and 45% (compared to 34% globally) were ‘extremely concerned’ about the availability of key skills.