Africa a growing player in the global economy


“The window of opportunity is open in Africa. You had the big White House summit in the US. You saw a lot of new investment being targeted in Africa. You look at China, which is the biggest trade partner here now,” Mark Weinberger, Ernst & Young (EY) Global CEO and chairman, told CNBC Africa.

“You look at Europe which has opened up funds that are being invested in Africa. You even look at Africa which has more within Africa trading. There is a real interest from our clients to be here, so we know we have to be here.”

(READ MORE: Growth remains robust in Africa’s low-income countries)


At the 2014 EY Strategic Growth Forum Africa, which was held in Johannesburg, South Africa, the focus was on the positive attributes of the continent that continue to increase investor interest.

The continent, a diverse region that offers substantial trade and investment opportunities across national and regional markets, is starting to realise its full potential.

Economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa is projected to rise from 4.9 per cent in 2013 to about 5.5 per cent this year.

“The long-term story of Africa has been the same. The opportunity here is unparalleled from a demographical, mineral, resource and labor standpoint. What needs to be done to get to the 2030 prosperity,” Weinberger said.

“There are five things we talk about in the report. Share value, where corporations come here and recognise that to do well, the community has to do well. You have to build it together, you need to have an environment for success.” 

(READ MORE: Dormant potential stifles Africa’s growth)

According to Weinberger, regional integration is also very important to ensure the continent thrives.

“We need a good environment for entrepreneurs here and certainly infrastructure. We need investments in infrastructure that are going to enable regional integration,” he said.

Nonetheless, economic activity in the region is reinforced by investments in infrastructure and nascent extractive sector investments.

“The government certainly cannot do it alone. Part of the dialogue here at the strategic growth forum is getting businesses and government to talk more openly and honestly about the issues and challenges that we have,” said Weinberger.