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Focus Areas Re-Imagining Africa

Companies in Africa face a complex and fast-changing landscape. Africa is on the verge of a demographic dividend, with a rising African consumer class creating new opportunities. Businesses need to work hard to win trust and build community support in order to create shared value and capture these opportunities.  At the same time, resource constraints and environmental concerns put pressure on supply chains and profitability. Faced with these challenges, there is a compelling need for innovation. We must accelerate progress in order to meet the changing needs and aspirations of African consumers, while operating in a way that wider society deems acceptable, now and in future generations.

The commercial imperative for action is clear. Instead of thinking about sustainability as an inhibitor to GDP (as is common and incorrect) we wanted to focus on the opportunity of sustainability. Our research shows that African businesses have the opportunity to unlock $350 billion a year in value from new opportunities that address socio-economic and environmental challenges.  This research is expounded in a joint report we wrote with member company Accenture Strategy and is based on consultations with CEOs and business leaders from Africa’s leading companies, and suggests that scaling innovations in four categories — new consumption opportunities, collaborative operating models, resource efficiency, and trust & transparency — can improve competitiveness, better address customer needs and help drive development across the Continent.

In addition, considerable opportunity exists for companies to collaborate with governments as well as within their existing and cross-sector networks, to overcome the wasted effort of doing things independently.  We are confident that the creative power of business can address the challenges of today and unlock a more prosperous and sustainable future for a


Re-Imagining Africa Report

In May 2000, The Economist ran a cover story on Africa, headlined “The Hopeless Continent”.

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