When Nigeria recalculated its gross domestic product this April, it confirmed what many investors already suspected - that West Africa's giant had overtaken South Africa to become the continent's largest economy. As is too often the case in Nigeria, the bad news quickly overtook the good. Since then, the headlines have been dominated by tragedy.
It is easy to pretend that there are two separate Nigerias - one a thrusting consumer powerhouse and one socially divided and pocked by violence and poverty. For business, which relies on the success of the former, acknowledging the latter can be difficult, but they are two sides of the same coin.
Business Action for Africa and the Initiative for Global Development have launched a report in Abuja, in the margins of the World Economic Forum on Africa: “The New Africa – Nigeria: From Growth to Opportunity” (download it here). The Report argues that business will have a central role in breaking the cycle of inequality in Nigeria.
In Nigeria, and across Africa more widely, businesses have recognised that they have a social obligation and a commercial imperative to think about their impact on their host communities, leveraging their supply chains to ensure that they buy locally, sharing the benefits of their investment across a wider web of stakeholders.
We'd like to hear your views on How can business tap into the opportunities that Africa presents, while also maximising its contribution to long-term economic growth and broad-based socio-economic impact?
- What do you see as the main business opportunities in Sub-Saharan Africa?
- Sub-Saharan Africa faces a number of socio-economic challenges – what is the role of business in tackling these?
- What role can others - in government, society, academia and business networks - play to maximise the contribution of business?
Please share your thoughts below!
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