A note from our Chairperson
The PIA’s commitment is to promote new investment in Africa by facilitating the most effective ways of improving the business environment at a country and continental level.
While many of our member companies have a strong presence in Africa, we believe that ‘there is strength in numbers’. We have found that the PIA provides an excellent platform to openly engage with our peers regarding the realities of operating on the African continent. Furthermore, the PIA provides strong leverage for critical messages directed at key decision makers and we can play an important role in representing Africa’s interests, particularly in our dealings with multilateral organisations and African governments.
The PIA has developed a strong reputation among international institutions, most notably the Bretton Woods institutions, as an influential voice of the private sector. Annually we meet with the most senior executives at these institutions, who have placed increased attention and value to the coordinated business input we provide. The PIA also conducts visits to specific countries of focus, at least once a year, where we engage with the governments at the highest level regarding the opportunities and challenges of private sector investment in their respective countries.
Looking ahead, the broad-based slowdown in sub-Saharan Africa is easing with GDP growth of over 3% expected in the medium term. The pickup reflects one-off factors, notably a recovery in oil production in Nigeria and the easing of drought conditions in eastern and southern Africa. The external environment has also improved with an easing of foreign exchange market pressures but the underlying situation remains difficult with rising public debt across the region, including in the fast-growing economies.
Despite a number of challenges, Africa has a significant opportunity for meaningful inclusive and sustainable growth. We believe the PIA can play a vital role in advocating for the private sector being a key driver of this growth.
Chief Executive Officer, Africa Regions, Standard Bank Group