Looking Forward: Embracing Opportunities and Challenges in 2024

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In the 2024 strategic outlook by Shift Impact Africa, CEO, Tiekie Barnard discuss and embrace both opportunities and challenges ahead. Focused on leveraging lessons from the past year, the initiative aims to drive sustainable development through innovative platforms like JamiiTrade, strategic partnerships, and educational programs. The Africa Shared Value and ESG Summit is testament of the vision that underscores the potential for economic growth across Africa, with a commitment to addressing social, environmental, and economic challenges to ensure a positive impact on the continent’s future.

As we embark on our journey through 2024, it’s essential to reflect on the year gone by. The year 2023 was undoubtedly a year of immense challenges, a period that tested our resilience and adaptability in the post-COVID era. While it may not have lived up to our collective expectations, it offered valuable lessons and a platform for growth.

As the CEO of Shift Impact Africa Group, including the Shared Value Africa Initiative and Shift Impact Africa, I see 2024 as a pivotal year—a year to regroup and refocus our energies on creating the Africa we envision. Last year, we successfully launched the Institute for Competitiveness Africa, and we are excited to announce the release of our inaugural research on Africa’s export competitiveness, covering 30 countries, on 5 March 2024.

This year also marks the launch of the first phase of JamiiTrade, a ground-breaking digital platform designed by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs. Our vision for JamiiTrade is to establish it as the leading peer-to-peer trade community platform for emerging businesses across Africa. This platform will serve as a vital hub for SMEs to exchange insights, tackle challenges, and share best practices, ultimately contributing to a more robust and interconnected African business community.

Another milestone for us is the formation of a partnership with the ESG Africa Conference. This collaboration has led to the inaugural Africa Shared Value and ESG Summit, which is set to take place in Kenya on 24 and 25 October. By integrating Shared Value with Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) principles, we aim to foster a business ecosystem in Africa that is not only financially robust but also socially and environmentally responsible. This approach which addresses the pressing social and environmental challenges we face is crucial for sustainable economic development in Africa.

In addition to our existing initiatives, 2024 will witness the Shared Value Africa Initiative, under the auspices of the #ITSNOTOK campaign, collaborating with the International Finance Corporation. This partnership aims to develop a comprehensive training series for the private sector, focusing on addressing and preventing sexual harassment in the workplace. This initiative underscores our commitment to fostering safe, respectful, and inclusive work environments across the continent.

Furthermore, Shift Impact Africa is honoured to collaborate with the AUDA-NEPAD team on a landmark event in Africa this year. In alignment with the African Union’s focus on Education and Skills Development, we will see the launch of World Skills Africa. This significant initiative will advance the commitment to education and skills enhancement through vocational training. World Skills Africa aims to spotlight the crucial role of education and vocational training in driving sustainable development and empowering future generations in Africa.

Looking at the broader African landscape, the forecast for 2024 is highly encouraging. The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited’s report from 2023 positions Africa as the world’s second-fastest growing major region, trailing only behind Asia. This growth is expected to be widespread across the continent, with 12 of the world’s 20 fastest-growing economies being in Africa. Real GDP in Africa is projected to expand by 3.2% in 2024, a significant increase from the 2.6% growth in 2023. Notably, East Africa is predicted to lead in economic dynamism.

At Shift Impact Africa Group, we are poised and ready to contribute to this wave of growth and transformation. We are committed to continuing our work in influencing, lobbying, and implementing change across the continent. With the unwavering support of our Shared Value community, we are confident that 2024 will be a year of positive change, bringing not only prosperity but also peace and profound insights into how we, as Africans, can shape the future of our continent.

Tiekie Bernard

Tiekie Barnard

Founder & CEO
Shift Impact Africa