Into Africa: The continent’s Cities of Opportunity - PwC (Video, Presentation, and Report)

Into Africa: The continent’s Cities of Opportunities – Paul Cleal (Partner & Chair of Africa Business Group, PwC) and Pierre-Antoine Balu (Partner, PwC)
Presentation Slides
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Into Africa: The continent’s Cities of Opportunities – PwC
Full Report

Table of Contents

  • Into Africa: The continent’s Cities of Opportunity
  • Our approach
  • Infrastructure: Cairo tops the rankings, closely trailed by Tunis
  • Human capital: Tunis tops all African cities by a comfortable margin
  • Economics: Casablanca #1, with several cities close behind
  • Society and demographics: Kampala #1 by a whisker, with Cairo just behind
  • Key to the variables
  • For more information

Read the full report below.


The megatrends, as we call them in PwC, are colliding across Africa. The growing middle class, the strong demographic growth with improving age mix, the technological innovation that we have already seen in mobile payments for example, growing choice of investment partners from the global south and fast-paced urbanisation are shaping what the future of Africa could look like. These trends twinned with the generally accepted economic data that cities are the world’s engines of growth, makes our Into Africa – the continent’s Cities of Opportunity report not only necessary but extremely timely. Africa is at an exceptional historical crossroad, if there was ever a moment for an entire continent to seize the day, this is it.

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This report is part of PwC’s global Cities of Opportunity series that helps governments, businesses and citizens improve their economies and quality of life. PwC has taken the insights gained from the key indicators and variables developed for its global report to expand the investigative reach of the global Cities of Opportunity series to now focus on Africa as a whole. We have carefully scrutinised and refined the criteria used in our global Cities of Opportunity to take into account African cities’ specific contexts, current issues and prospective strategies. The available data and analysis does have limitations and only tells part of the story and we want to emphasise that there is no substitute for actually going there yourself to have a look on ground. In creating this report, we have sought to assess how the cities are performing, not only from a regional perspective, but also from an international one, seeing that each African city must ultimately compete (and therefore prosper) not only in a local economic environment, but in a global one.

What makes an African city one of opportunity?

This report, concentrates on the continent’s 20 cities that we judge to be among the most dynamic and future focused. We’ve structured the report around the critical issues of the business community, as well as those of the office holders and other public authorities who are responsible for improving the collective life of each city examined here.

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What does it mean for investors

• African cities when being assessed need to be looked at through a different lens, as current standings and future potential tell different city stories. So when measuring today remember to overlay tomorrow.
• Location can provide access to wider markets, and good choices require knowledge on the ground as well as objective analysis.
• Look inward, then outward, as focusing on the needs of your own business will help carve out your direction into Africa.
• Access to markets (middle class consumers in the city and the country/region to which it is a gateway) is more of a long term determinant of success than natural resources.
• Know your deal breakers, and makers as critical city factors can deliver knockouts.
• Money now or investments for the future? Align decisions with your time horizons for results.

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What does it mean for policy makers

• Our methodology and selected variables provides a vast range of public policy issues to consider. So assess what needs to be strengthened and prioritised and plan wisely to meet the current requirements and future demands from citizens and businesses alike.
• Know your short-term goals and devise a more integrated long-term “big picture” strategy that demonstrates how each part interacts and contributes to the greater whole.
• Infrastructure and human capital take time to develop but often critical to success. Lack of adequate infrastructure and human capital investment can limit the economic potential of a city.
• Your role (and related development of institutions) in guiding a city is important to the private sector. The building blocks are infrastructure, human capital but also security. Where this is in place, culture and society starts to flourish.

Into Africa: The continent’s Cities of Opportunities – PwC

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