Doing business in Africa - Tommy Strydom

According to the World Economic Forum (WEF), the outlook for growth in Africa is mixed and expected to be lower than the 5% average of the past decade,

due to the dip in commodity prices and the economic slowdown in China.

However, some African countries are growing by more than 6% per year and foreign direct investment inflow still increases. Tommy Strydom, acting CEO of Inyatsi Construction, explained how this affects doing business on the continent.

“I agree with the WEF that the different African economies call for all of us to address the accompanying challenges, such as a growing unemployed young population and climate change. Zambia and Mozambique, two African countries that used to be a backstop for the continent, were hit especially hard by the dip in commodity prices,” he said.

According to him, foreign investors have left and many people in these countries are left with nothing. “People in Mozambique were upskilled, but there is no work for them. The upside is that African needs infrastructure worth at least US$94 billion and if this is handled correctly, 70% of the people who are jobless can be helped, but there are some challenges that must be overcome. Legislation is a problem. In many cases withholding of work permits prevents skilled people from foreign countries working in African countries, which blocks skills transfer,” he added.

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