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COVID-19: African CEOs hopeful on improved economy

Another concern for the African CEOs is that of uncertainty in tax policy across the continent

About 68 percent of Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) surveyed in Africa believe that the global economic growth will improve this year.

This was contained in a statement by PWC on its virtual media launch of the 8th edition of PwC’s Africa Business Agenda 2021 report. Globally, 76% of the CEOs are hopeful of economic rebound in 2021.

“CEOs in Africa are more confident in their own company’s revenue prospects and the strength of the global economy than they were in 2020. However, they have concerns about government policy, cybersecurity, technology, and people,” it stated.

Another concern for the African CEOs is that of uncertainty in tax policy across the continent. To also stay ahead in the business, “44% of CEOs in Africa are changing their workforce strategy to improve competitiveness,” PWC stated.

Uyi Akpata, Regional Senior Partner PwC West Africa, said: “In the light of the concerns that Africa’s CEOs have on policy uncertainty, tax policy uncertainty, cyber threats, and over-regulation, this is an opportunity for African business leaders to reimagine every aspect of their operating model.

“Further, companies and countries in West Africa should take advantage of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement, which came into force on 1 January 2021, to drive growth and bolster their economies through increased continental trade.”

According to the survey, tax issues and uncertainty are rising on the list of threats. “In Africa, it is ranked third, up from seventh last year. CEOs are undoubtedly watching debts accumulate as governments intervene with stimulus packages, and realise that the public will expect businesses to pay their fair share.

“In Africa, 56% of CEOs are already factoring increasing tax obligations into their strategic risk management activities.”

PwC surveyed 5,050 CEOs in 100 countries and territories in January and February of 2021. The results for Africa are based on a sub-sample of 50 CEOs from 14 countries.

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