A panel of thinkers and doers from academia and business hosted by the GIBS Centre for African Management and Markets (CAMM) agreed at a recent Forum there are a multitude of reasons to be positive about African business.

A panel of thinkers and doers from academia and business hosted by the GIBS Centre for African Management and Markets (CAMM) agreed at a recent Forum there are a multitude of reasons to be positive about African business.

“You can’t afford not to be in Africa, you will be left behind,” Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Pretoria Professor Tawana Kupe said.

CEO of Sanlam Emerging Markets Junior Ngulube said positive change on the ground throughout Africa is cause for enthusiasm and optimism: “I have seen cities like Luanda change right in front of my eyes, you can’t help but be positive and excited.”

Levels of confidence among businesses operating on the continent have increased, especially in the banking and telecommunications sectors.

While challenges remain, Ngulube, who has been working on the continent since 1987 said: “If you think it’s difficult now, you should have tried it then.”

Founding chair and CEO of Shingai Group and former CEO of MTN Cameroon, Philisiwe Sibiya named the East African region, from Mozambique to Ethiopia, as an example that shows the rest of the continent what is possible. “Kenya, Rwanda, Ethiopia. The region is growing in leaps and bounds, new cities are being born from scratch, four airline hubs have uplifted the region in terms of growth and the arrival of the Internet has changed the continent completely,” she said.

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