There are many reasons why our work is focused on the African continent...
For over twenty years, Founder and Executive Director, Lydia-Claire Halliday has supported corporations and advised business leaders by carefully analysing economic, geopolitical and social trends and predicting their consequences.
Our relationships with influential international networks of media, analysts, investors and associates exist and thrive due to a foundation and commonality in governance and professionalism.
Lydia-Claire Halliday Consultancy (LCH Consultancy & Associates) was founded in 2012 to counsel and represent international organisations invested in Africa.
Let’s start with the basics. Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most-populous continent, second only to Asia. At about 30.3 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of Earth's total surface area and accounts for one-fifth of its land. Paradoxically, the coastline of Africa (30,500 km) in length, is shorter than that of Europe, because there are few inlets and few large bays or gulfs.
A lively mix
The potential to
become a global
New ways of doing
tech and financial mechanisms
Meanwhile, with a population of 1.4 billion people as of 2022 (and rising sharply), it is already home to 17% of the world's human population.
By 2050, the populations of more than half of Africa’s 54 nations will double, bringing the total number of people in Africa close to 2.5 billion, or around a quarter of the global population. 40% of all Africans are children under the age of 14 and the average age of an African is 19 years old, whereas a European’s is 44 years old.
Africa’s gross domestic product has recovered strongly, but the lingering effects of the pandemic, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the ensuing war could pose considerable challenges in the medium term.
The African Development Bank, in its African Economic Outlook 2022, reports that Africa’s gross domestic product grew by an estimated 6.9% in 2021. Rising oil prices and global demand have helped improve Africa’s macroeconomic fundamentals. But growth could decelerate to 4.1% in 2022, and remain there in 2023, because of the lingering pandemic and inflationary pressures.
According to the International Monetary Fund, Regional Economic Outlook, the economic recovery in sub-Saharan Africa surprised on the upside in the second half of 2021, prompting a significant upward revision in last year’s estimated growth, here you can see the Real GDP Growth in each country from 2004 to 2023:
The world is facing challenging times, starting with Covid-19,which has claimed millions of lives and continues to impactcountries around the world. The pandemic triggered a globaleconomic crisis. Africa’s GDP contracted 1.6% in 2020, thecontinent’s first recession in half a century.
The continents’ growth will continue to be driven by several key industries, not least agriculture which is currently experiencing a bounce from rising commodity prices. Meanwhile, other sectors are subject to major investment, interest and innovation including banking, energy, transport, telecoms and construction/infrastructure, the latter especially critical if the region is to ably accommodate its growing population and workforce.
New technologies are transforming how businesses and societies operate. Mobile connectivity, for example, is an essential means for consumers to interact with the commercial world and access vital services, especially in rural areas where more than half of Africa’s people still reside. Businesses are already making moves in the realm of 5G, with the number of 5G subscriptions in Sub-Saharan Africa set to increase from 2.59 million in 2021 to almost 105 million by 2027[i].
Technologies such as this, in combination with new financial mechanisms, are opening up unique opportunities for investors and businesses to thrive in Africa and drive transformational socio-economic development.
And these investors are not just after Africa’s natural resources. Recent years have seen global investors come to Africa because of its people’s talents, with extractive industries accounting for more than half of foreign direct investment (FDI) in just one of the last seven years leading up to 2018[ii].
Indeed, the combination of a surplus of workers, technology, and improving regional stability and business conditions are key factors as to why Africa is becoming a bigger player in the global economy.
ESG is a massive investment driver in Africa. It is no longer viewed as simple ‘the right thing to do’ – rather, understanding and delivering on key environmental, social and governance factors is a business imperative that is here to stay.
This is no more evident than in Africa’s infrastructure and real estate sector. By 2050, Africa’s cities will be home to 1.3 billion more people than today, growth which will create huge demand for new buildings. Given that eight in 10 of the buildings needed in Africa by 2050 are yet to be built[iii], and that the built environment contributes to more than a third of carbon emissions, the opportunity for green construction in Africa is immense.
The least emitter of climate forcing emissions, Africa is disproportionately affected by climate change. The continent loses between 5% and 15% of GDP to climate change. Collectively, African countries received only $18.3 billion in climate finance between 2016 and 2019. This leaves a climate finance gap of up to $127.2 billion annually from 2020 to 2030.
This year, COP 27, also known as the “African COP,” will be hosted by Egypt in November. It will be the first time in five years that the United Nations climate conference will be held in Africa, and it comes as the continent faces an alarming increase in climate-related disasters.