FTI Consulting Survey Finds Local Business Leaders are Critical to Investor Confidence in Africa

London, 11 May 2016 — FTI Consulting, Inc. (NYSE:FCN), the global business advisory firm dedicated to helping organisations protect and enhance their enterprise value, today released its annual survey of opinion leaders on Africa, ahead of the 2016 World Economic Forum (“WEF”) Africa Summit taking place in Kigali, Rwanda from 11-13 May 2016.

This survey, the third in the series, suggests that African business leaders are the most effective at encouraging the right sort of investment into Africa, while political instability, government red tape and bureaucracy, are perceived to be holding back the international business community from investing in the continent.

Key findings from the survey include:

  • Two thirds (66 percent) of the opinion leaders surveyed cited African business leaders as particularly effective at encouraging the right sort of investment into Africa, closely followed by international investors (56 percent) and business leaders (54 percent).
  • Fifty-nine percent of the international business community considers business opportunities in Africa as “important, but risky.”
  • Twenty-one percent still consider the continent as “essential to strategic growth,” however, this is a significant decline compared to 33 percent in 2015.

Perhaps reflecting this more cautious attitude, Joint Ventures (68 percent), and Public-Private Partnerships (67 percent) are expected to grow over the next twelve months to help mitigate the perceived risks, with almost all (93 percent) saying that Government support is fundamental to encouraging future investment.

A key theme at the 2016 WEF Africa Summit is the role that technology can play in empowering the great potential for the continent, with 51 percent of respondents expecting significant investment in telecommunications in the coming year. Although 77 percent believe that global technology companies will be the most effective at realising the potential of the internet across the continent, 61 percent believe local entrepreneurs have a leading role to play.

Chris Osborne, Co-Chairman of FTI Consulting’s Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region, commented, “There is no doubt that Africa remains an important international investment destination, and this survey shows that investors and businesses are optimistic about the ability of local business leaders and entrepreneurs to help drive this growth. Yet the obstacles to this growth remain considerable. African governments play a crucial role and must continue to tackle the perceptions and realities of the political, bureaucratic and market risks which continue to challenge investor sentiment.”

Further key findings from the survey show that:

  • 87 percent believe “Entrepreneurs in Africa are innovative at adapting technologies elsewhere for Africa's requirement.”
  • 82 percent think “There is a lot of talk, but little change to improve investment environments in Africa.”
  • 72 percent agree “There needs to be more focus on the underclass being left behind in Africa than the growing middle class.”
  • 64 percent consider “The story of business opportunities in Africa is being drowned out.”
  • 57 percent consider Rwanda is the best African country at marketing themselves and providing relevant information to investors, followed closely by South Africa and Mauritius with 51 percent each.

The full data set of this survey is available on request by contacting, market-research@fticonsulting.com.

Methodology
This research was conducted online by the Strategy Consulting & Research team at FTI Consulting from 6-25 April 2016, involving n=87 “Opinion Leaders on Africa” comprising of business, NGO, investor and government leaders who have or were attendees at WEF Africa, associated with it or commentators on it. For more information on the research methodology contact: market-research@fticonsulting.com. Please note that the standard convention for rounding has been applied and consequently some totals do not add up to 100 percent.

About FTI Consulting
FTI Consulting, Inc. is a global business advisory firm dedicated to helping organisations protect and enhance enterprise value in an increasingly complex legal, regulatory and economic environment. With more than 4,600 employees located in 28 countries, FTI Consulting professionals work closely with clients to anticipate, illuminate and overcome complex business challenges in areas such as investigations, litigation, mergers and acquisitions, regulatory issues, reputation management, strategic communications and restructuring. The Company generated $1.78 billion in revenues during fiscal year 2015. For more information, visit www.fticonsulting.com and connect with us on Twitter (@FTIConsulting), Facebook and LinkedIn.

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