African CEOs optimistic about African Continental Free Trade Area: Survey
The Pan-African Private Sector Trade and Investment Committee (PAFTRAC) has launched its annual Africa CEO Trade Survey, which gives a snapshot of sentiments among Africa’s business leaders and is intended to inform decision-making by African public policymakers.
This year, over 1000 CEOs from 44 countries, the largest sample ever, participated in the survey. The report shows that while inflation and access to finance remain of great concern to businesses in Africa, many are optimistic about the prospects of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
Presenting the results at the virtual launch of the report in a webinar on 21 November, Professor Patrick Utomi, chairperson of PAFTRAC and policy consultant to the Africa Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), noted that the majority of the sample were small businesses, and about 35% had been in operation for five years or less. This, he said, reflects the fact that about 80% of businesses in Africa are in the small- and medium-sized enterprise (SME) category.
While rising debt and global security issues were of concern, high inflation was the major concern that interviewees had. “Overwhelmingly, inflation is seen as having the most significant impact on the continent and its businesses,” Utomi said.
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