This was the majority of opinion from about 500 worldwide companies spoken to during the survey.
Although Africa’s attractiveness as a place to invest is growing, it is believed that it is more attractive to Africans themselves and the emerging markets. Developed countries are still not excited.
It should be noted that rightly or wrongly the developed countries, primarily western Nations have been too careful, to analytical, too cautious and too critical when it comes to doing business in Africa.
Recent findings have shown a concerning trend for the western countries in the sense that, while they remain too cautious and too analytical and in some cases too prejudiced, Africa is building a deep and progressive relationship with the BRICS countries, namely: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
In the survey carried out by Ernst & Young, it is acknowledged that “confidence levels” in Africa are better than Brazil, Russia, less than America and parts of the Soviet states and only lag behind Asia.
According to the African Celebrities Magazine, what Africa needs to do more now is more Public Relations…sell the benefits of investing in ind
ividual countries while trying to address security issues to build more confidence with potential investors.
In a continent with so much potential, what African Governments sometimes forget is a good Public Relations and advertisement strategy. Most often, we expect people to just come asking. It is time Africans start taken things to the world. Why wouldn’t that be the strategy now in this internet age?
We believe that one of the problems Africa faces is the lack of powerful media organizations (TV, Radio, Newspapers, magazines etc. Most often around the world, bidding is done through the media consciously or unconsciously.
African countries lack media outlets in the rank of CNN, BBC, Al Jazeera etc to advocate for them and help in exposure. In the same vein, there isn’t much effort in trying to develop Media outlets of that magnitude.
No matter what the situation is, international focus is on Africa at the moment. For both Africans and probably western investors who might be too cautious or judgmental, it is important to point out that the rewards for investing in Africa now match the risks. Africa is unfolding and currently offers resources to fuel her own growth. An example of wish is the large consumer market to feed their products and services.
China, Russia, India and Brazil seem to have understood the trend. Somehow the Europeans have to drop the prejudices and colonial hang-overs and approach Africa more as renewed business partners. Else it will be difficult to undo what ever bargains China is offering.
That aside, it is also dependent on African governments to articulate a proposition to the world for investing in Africa.