African CEOs bullish on continent’s long-term economic growth, survey finds

African CEOs have expressed confidence in the long-term economic prospects of the continent despite the negative impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the profits of African businesses.

The 2020 edition of the Africa CEO survey, an initiative of the Africa CEO Forum and Deloitte, found that 95% of African companies had seen their revenues negatively hit by the pandemic this year.

However, participants generally took an optimistic view of the future prospects of businesses across Africa, according to the authors of the report.

“Above all, they are increasingly confident about the continent’s long-term economic growth, while also acknowledging that the slowdown in global economic growth will have a negative impact on their domestic operations,” the report read.

The continent’s business leaders were also enthusiastic about the much-awaited commencement of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) next year. “They share the belief that the unification process cannot be supported exclusively by public authorities,” the report continued.

However, the authors noted that African companies are struggling to incorporate women into their organisations. The survey found that in over 74% of companies, women make up less than 25% of board of directors’ members.