More than 29 of sub-Saharan Africa’s most important politicians, CEOs and dealmakers spoke exclusively to Reuters during closed sessions in Johannesburg, Nairobi and Lagos last week for the annual Reuters Africa Investment Summit, giving our clients critical insight into one the world’s fastest growing regions and an increasingly important investment destination.
For a summary recap report of the 2013 Reuters Africa Investment Summit, click here. Highlights of the Summit included interviews with Zimbabwean Finance Minister Tendai Biti, South African Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, Nigeria Central Bank Governor Lamido Sanusi, MTN Group CEO Sifiso Dabengwa, Standard Chartered Africa CEO Diana Layfield and more.
Africa’s considerable opportunities and challenges were examined by African policy-makers and chief executives of companies operating in Africa, most who felt that although there are bumps in the road, the momentum is upward and investors will be rewarded if they stay the course. Few doubt that the Africa Rising narrative, which has grabbed the attention even of traditional skeptics, is based on solid fundamentals: growth outpacing most of the world, a rising young population of workers and consumers and global demand for the continent’s commodities. “I absolutely believe in a consistent upward trend,” said Diana Layfield, Chief Executive Officer for Africa of Standard Chartered, the London-listed bank which is investing $100 million in Africa to double its business in the next five years. But this bullish pitch for Africa, enthusiastically echoed by most participants at a Reuters Africa Investment Summit this week, comes accompanied with a caution that the continent remains a volatile, uneven and challenging place.
Some top stores from the Reuters Africa Investment Summit include: (more…)