PwC Investing $100M in Africa

PricewaterhouseCoopers International is rolling out a growth strategy for Africa that includes investing $100 million in people and infrastructure.

The Big Four firm said it plans to hire an additional 8,000 partners and staff over the next five years as it builds an integrated advisory business for the continent. In addition, PwC will further integrate its firm teams to provide advisory services across the continent through one Pan African entity.

“Africa is an important frontier for economic growth,” said PWC International Chairman Dennis Nally in a news release. Nally announced PwC’s new Africa initiative July 18 while in Nairobi, Kenya, meeting with clients, partners and staff. “We believe the regional economy could double by 2020 to nearly $3 trillion, and we are getting a clear signal from our international clients that Africa is an increasingly important market.”

This optimism is supported by PwC’s latest African CEO survey, which found that 69% of CEOs in Africa are very confident of revenue growth over the next three years, compared with 51% of CEOs globally, Nally added.

PwC’s $100 million investment will be staggered over the next three years and spread across key markets in Africa. It will be targeted at recruitment and business infrastructure enhancements—including new technology and expanded office space.

“Our people are our biggest asset, and it is no surprise that the majority of our investment will go towards recruiting additional skills across our assurance, tax and advisory businesses,” Nally said. “Our focus will be on developing deeper industry expertise in relevant markets across Africa.”

As part of the plan, PwC’s new Pan African Advisory business will combine its transactions, strategy, operations, HR, financial and IT consulting teams in East, West and Southern Africa into a single business unit as of Jan. 1, 2012. A new executive team for the PwC African advisory firm will be appointed to lead the group.

“We see clear advantages in delivering our advisory services through one regional operating entity,” Philip Kinisu, PwC’s senior partner for the Africa Central Territory, said in a press release. “Our transactions and consulting work with clients is increasingly cross-border and requires a broad range of disciplines and expertise. At the same time, all our clients are telling us that they want to access skill sets from different countries to complement their local teams.”

PwC firms employ more than 7,600 staff and partners in 31 African countries. Fiscal year 2010 results show combined revenue of $560 million for PwC firms in Africa.

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