The African Year in 2017

What are the themes and trends that will be shaping the operating environment in Africa in 2017? Our partner, The African Practice, have provided us with some insight.

Looking ahead to 2017, we feel the year will be marked by political volatility linked to these clashes playing out between established orders and opposition forces; between modernity and tradition; and between the politics of change and that of continuity. Those governments which fail to recognise the need to champion reform, diversify their economies, enable political liberties and hold a more policy-driven political debate, will likely see growth drag and frustrations rise. Others that adopt a more reformist and dynamic approach will benefit from the considerable opportunities that exist to attract investment and achieve sustainable development through increased investment, growth and access to debt, enabling higher capital expenditure. Meanwhile, businesses will need to navigate this volatility and adapt their strategies to respond to the shifting market dynamics around them, presenting both risks and opportunities for those prepared and committed to play the long game. Global business attention in 2017 will focus primarily on the political risks presented by the US transition, ongoing Brexit negotiations, upcoming elections in France and Germany, and the outlook for the troubled BRIC economies. But in Africa, beyond the usual headlines created by elections, public scandals and political show- boating, a divergence in economic fortunes is likely to become more apparent as government capacity to drive development by incentivising investment and delivering efficient spending is put to the test.

You can read the full briefing note here.


Natalie Maule

Africa, africapractice

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