EXECUTIVE PERSPECTIVE: Investment rush to Africa must manage sustainability risks

SOURCE: Thomson Reuters Sustainability


As the UN-supported Principles for Responsible Investment initiative begins its annual event in Cape Town on October 1st, its Executive Director Dr. James Gifford considers the sustainability challenges faced by investors in African companies


By Dr. James Gifford | 27 September 2013

Africa’s economic renaissance continues apace, with investors rushing into the continent to profit from its dynamic emerging markets, its unrealised entrepreneurial energy and its vast natural resources. At a time in which many global economies are floundering, Africa has demonstrated robust economic growth; its companies are performing competitively, and its internal investors are confidently embracing an economically diverse future.

The conditions for this economic growth are being driven by a surge in democratic governance, reduced conflict, urbanisation, and a growing middle class. The World Economic Forum on Africa 2013 observed that almost 50% of African countries have reached middle-income status. The ensuing consumer group serves to generate more opportunities for employment and paves the way for economic diversification and dramatically increased investment over coming decades.

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KEYWORDS: Alternative Energy, Climate and the environment, Markets, Regulation & Policy, africa, Investment, sustainability, manage, risks, compliance, economic, Economy, new markets, investors, urbanisation, conflict, World Economic Forum, value, risk, Management, market

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