African CEOs rank Kenya as the most important market for growth opportunities outside their home markets

Upperhill Nairobi
  • The country was cited by 22 of the 171 top African CEOs who were interviewed in a survey by audit and consultancy PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) 
  • Kenya was closely beaten by US which was cited by 24 business leaders in the CEO survey conducted in September and October 2018 
  • African CEOs were largely concerned by uncertainty in government policies, skills gaps to drive innovation and over-regulation, according to PwC regional senior partner Peter Ngahu.

Kenya is the leading business destination in Africa for large companies looking for growth prospects in 2019, according to African CEOs.

The country was cited by 22 of the 171 top African CEOs who were interviewed in a survey by audit and consultancy PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) as the most important market for growth opportunities outside their home markets.

Majority of the CEOs who participated in the survey ranked companies with annual revenue of more than Sh10 billion ($100 million), largely based in South Africa.

 “The participants are weighted by the size of the GDP, and so a lot of responses were from South Africa. So if they are identifying economies outside of their home, Kenya, given its level of stability, remains quite popular.” said PwC Kenya assurance leader Kang’e Saiti during the release of the survey findings in Nairobi on Tuesday.

Kenya was closely beaten by US which was cited by 24 business leaders in the CEO survey conducted in September and October 2018 and whose findings have been released this month.

Why Kenya stood out

The PwC’s 7th Africa Business Agenda 2019 survey, however, showed 20% of the surveyed African CEOs did not know where else to look for growth opportunities, more than double the 8% levels in 2018. This signals that African “CEOs appear less certain about their expansion plans outside their home markets”, 

“The CEOs are looking for new markets … but they are approaching the new markets with some level of caution,” said Saiti.

African CEOs were largely concerned by uncertainty in government policies, skills gaps to drive innovation and over-regulation, according to PwC regional senior partner Peter Ngahu.

The level of growth confidence in Kenya remained largely stable, falling to 13% of the African CEOs from 14% last year, states the report first released during the biannual World Economic Forum on Africa in Cape Town on September 4.

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