CAPE TOWN - Executives in sub-Saharan Africa rate unemployment and underemployment as the top risks for doing business in the region, followed by challenges related to governance, energy prices, infrastructure, and debt.
This is according to the finding of a new analysis of regional risks by the World Economic Forum published on Tuesday. The forum said the Sub-Saharan Africa Risks Landscape comes at a time of modest economic growth across the region. This is set against a backdrop of rapid population and labour-force growth that is outstripping job creation.
As the number two risk facing Africa’s business leaders, governance comes into focus at a time when Africa appears to be consolidating recent progress towards stability.
The region has experienced 27 leadership changes since 2015, highlighting a continent-wide push for greater accountability and democracy. The report also noted that the region experienced 15 elections in 2018 and will see a further 20 in 2019.
The focus on jobs and governance is preventing business leaders from being able to tackle longer-term challenges such as climate change and health. This could be a potential blind spot in terms of long-term planning.