Africa still attractive despite challenges - CNBC Africa

Africa still attractive despite challenges

Special Report

by Elayne Wangalwa 0

The confidence index for Africa among business leaders has remained unchanged over the third quarter of 2014. PHOTO: Getty Images

The Young Presidents’ Organisation (YPO) Global Pulse Confidence Index for Africa released on Tuesday puts Africa at 61.9 points despite the Ebola outbreak that is rampaging West African states.

According to Paul Kavuma, CEO at Catalyst Principal Partners, business leaders in Africa maintained a cautious optimism.

“Any sought of confidence rating over 60 per cent still shows strong confidence and optimism in the economy. So generally Africa although it remains stagnant from one perspective, it is actually stagnant but at a high level and while it may have been stagnant because there are some economics that have been under more pressure while others have been really racing well  and doing extremely well,” Kavuma said in a statement.

Slight alterations were seen in Africa’s one year outlooks for sales and capital spending. Employment confidence rose marginally by one-tenth of a point to 57.4.

“While there were increased geopolitical risks in the third quarter coming from both inside and outside the continent, they are not yet expected to be long-lived enough to counteract the economic tailwinds of infrastructure investment and strengthening services sector,” Paul Berman chair at YPO’s Africa region said in a statement.

The quarterly electronic survey conducted in the first two weeks of October with 2,431 CEO’s across the globe, including 152 in Africa saw variations in confidence at the country level. South Africa, the highest weighting in the index shaved off 1.3 points to read at 63.3 points while Africa biggest economy, Nigeria, rose marginally by 0.4 points to 56.7. Meanwhile, Kenya, East Africa’s largest economy climbed 3.7 poijnts to 68.7 over the third quarter.

“If you look at the macro environments, it is improving. We [East Africa] have got better governance, better accountability, more investment in infrastructure, better provision of services and the business community therefore is responding whereas if you look at our economy in East Africa 20 years we probably had very export orientated economy,” Kavuma explained.

Meanwhile globally, the YPO confidence index dropped by 0.8 points. Confidence in Asia declined by 1.8 points, Australia dipped 1.5 points, Canada shaved off 0.7 points despite it being the world most upbeat region, European Union was down 2.5 points and the United States also down by 0.6 points.

Nonetheless, the Middle East and North Africa were up with a reading of 65.8 points.