Despite the pressures from the ongoing COVID pandemic and market conditions such as rising inflation and supply chain disruptions among others, 85% of CEOs in Africa are optimistic about the prospects for a stronger economy in 2022, a new survey shows.
PwC’s 25th Annual Global CEO Survey has established that in Africa, 85% of CEOs expect that global economic growth will improve and 8% expect it to decline. Globally, more than three-quarters of CEOs, 77%, predict the global economy will improve, while only 15% expect worsening conditions.
The survey which polled 4,446 CEOs in 89 countries and territories between October and November 2021 notes that CEO optimism for 2022 is a tick higher than the 76% optimism level from a year ago and fully 54 points higher than 2020 when more than half (53%) of CEOs predicted a declining economy.
While commenting on the report, Bob Moritz, Global Chairman, PwC said: “While the ongoing pandemic and emergence of new variants cast a shadow over the year, the high level of CEO optimism we found speaks to the strength and resilience of the global economy and the ability of CEOs to manage through uncertainty. There is nothing “normal” about the world we are working in, but we are getting used to it. We are seeing differences in confidence among countries, and there is no shortage of challenges to navigate, but it is encouraging that CEOs we spoke with on the whole feel positive about 2022.”
Dion Shango, Territory Senior Partner, PwC Africa stated: “The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed many organisations in Africa to rethink the way they operate and how they build trust and deliver sustained outcomes. Optimism about growth prospects in Africa indicates greater resilience; Africa’s CEOs are leading their organisations more effectively, managing more complex scenarios, engaging with a broader set of stakeholders and acting with courage during uncertainty. They’re optimistic – and realistic – about the challenges and opportunities ahead”.
The survey indicates that while there is general optimism among CEOs for economic growth in 2022, the perspective varies widely across individual countries and territories.
“Among the largest territories, optimism is highest in India, where 94% of CEOs anticipate global growth in the coming year, up from 88% last year. Optimism is also trending up solidly among CEOs in Japan (plus 16 points to 83%, from 67% last year), and is modestly higher in the UK (up five points to 82%).
“Italy and France saw large increases in CEO optimism, perhaps as a result of stronger than expected economic recoveries. CEO optimism in Italy reached 89%, up 18 points from a year ago, while France experienced the greatest increase in CEO optimism, soaring 25 points to 85%” it says.
At the other end of the spectrum, CEO optimism about the global economy declined most notably in the US, down 18 points to 70%, and was also slightly down in Brazil (dropping seven points to 77%), China (down nine points to 62%) and Germany (down four points to 76%), perhaps as inflation and supply chain constraints became more of an issue.
Despite the high optimism for a stronger economy in 2022 by a majority of CEOs in Africa, the continent still tails the rest when it comes to Covid vaccinations. As of last month, about 9% of people on the continent were fully vaccinated against Covid.