South Africa – PwC has today declared it is increasing its investment in Africa and building closer links between PwC UK and PwC Africa, to meet increased demand for professional services as trade activity between the two regions grows.
The investment is part of PwC’s ongoing strategy to develop high potential markets, and follows the UK firm’s successful investment in Central and Eastern Europe.
Ian Powell, UK Chairman and Senior Partner, commented: “This is an exciting development which enhances our ability to serve clients across the fastest growing region in the world. Africa has an abundance of natural resources and seven of the world’s fastest growing economies meaning the opportunities for UK business are significant.”
Suresh Kana, PwC Africa Network Territory Senior Partner, said: “This is great news for our network. Over the years we have built PwC into the leading network in Africa. We now see huge opportunities to build our capabilities further as we will be able to invest even faster in key industry sectors such as Capital Projects & Infrastructure, Oil & Gas, Government & Public Sector and Financial Services. We have great teams in Africa and this investment will help us build more local capacity, and create teaming and secondment opportunities.”
As part of the investment, Paul Cleal, PwC UK partner and chair of its Africa Business Group, will be seconded to the African Leadership team and based on the continent.
PwC teams from the UK and Africa have a strong track record of working together to support businesses, governments and NGOs in nations such as Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda and Zambia with expertise in fields such as economic development, climate change, education, infrastructure, natural resources, and power and utilities.
The UK is renowned for the strength of its business and professional services sector and this deal is a demonstration of how the nation can play to its strengths on the global stage. This commitment not only benefits our clients and the PwC network, but is also good for the UK and African economies.
Professional and business support services is one of the most successful sectors in the UK economy, contributing 12% of total UK GDP – more than financial services (8.5%) or manufacturing (10%). The sector has grown by nearly 6% a year since Q3 2009 and has been one of the biggest job-creating sectors in the UK economy as well as a major contributor to UK exports.
A 2013 report by BIS – ‘Growth is our business: A Strategy for Professional and Business Services (PBS)’ – recognised the contribution of the professional and business services sector to the UK economy, and highlighted the opportunities in developing markets. Other business services contribute 29% of total services exports and totalled £58.6 billion in 2013, with a trade surplus of £29.3 billion.