There has been continued falling business confidence adding to the lack of improvement in business capacity building in Africa in the last quarter of 2013, according to new findings from the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) in their Global Economic Conditions Survey (GECS).
GECS, the largest regular economic survey of accountants in the world, gauging the views of ACCA and IMA finance professionals globally, revealed that 35 percent of respondents in Africa reported a loss of confidence in the prospects of their organisations over the last three months, up from 33 percent in the third quarter of 2013.
Manos Schizas, ACCA’s Senior Economic Analyst, said: “Getting small businesses set up and enabling them to grow in Africa will be one of the key components to ensuring healthy recovery within the continent. SMEs are the growth engines that are fuelling African economies and creating employment.
“Business opportunities have continued to fall significantly throughout Africa in the fourth quarter of 2013, ending up very far from their peak at the end of 2012. What we’re seeing are the net effects of a heavy reliance of investment from Asia. As the slowdown in Asian economies continues to gather pace, African economies continue to feel the effects of the far-east slowdown. This is why investment in locally grown SMEs will be crucial to future prosperity.
“These developments are not surprising, as despite a small uptick in business and investment opportunities, the fundamentals in Africa have generally deteriorated. Access to growth capital, demand and cash flow conditions have consistently tightened through the second half of 2013 and continued to do so in Q4, while input prices and exchange rates destabilized further in the last quarter.
By: HOPE MOSES-ASHIKE