African CEOs less optimistic on global economic outlook: PwC report

A new survey on CEOs around the world has shown that African CEOs are generally optimistic about the global economic outlook, although less so than their counterparts elsewhere in the world.

PwC’s 24th annual Africa Business Agenda report found that 68% of CEOs in Africa believe economic growth will improve this year, compared to 76% of CEOs outside of Africa.

In addition, 30% of African CEOs indicated they were ‘very confident’ about their company’s growth prospects in the next 12 months, compared to 36% of global CEOs.

The results come against a backdrop of Africa’s struggle to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, as cases surged much later than they did elsewhere in the world, while the rate of vaccinations remains low.

“The reasons for this confidence gap range from African countries still being at an earlier stage of the pandemic life cycle to uncertainty about governments’ COVID-19 response and policy direction in its aftermath,” the report said.

These factors contributed to 60% of African CEOs highlighting concerns around uncertainty in the survey, compared to 38% of CEOs globally. However, bosses on the continent did express their intention to hire in the short term.