Big 4 PwC plans to double its workforce in Africa

06 August 2014

Accounting- and consulting giant PwC has announced an ambitious growth plan for Africa. Over the next 5 years it plans to double its workforce of PwC Africa throughout the continent. To achieve the objective, the professional services firm has reserved hundreds of million dollars.

African consulting market
Businesses on the African continent are growing and prosperity is increasing. According to the IMF, the economy in Sub-Saharan Africa is expected to grow 6% annually over the next four years. In addition, foreign direct investments have risen sharply in the last decade*. As a result of the economic growth and the growing globalisation of businesses and industries, the professional services has also benefited and finds itself in a period of strong growth. For example: the consulting industry of Sub-Saharan Africa is estimated to grow with 6.1% this year and 5.6% next year, bringing the market from $2.93 billion in 2013 to $3.28 billion in 2015.

PwC - Cape Town, South Africa

PwC Africa’s growth plan
For consulting firms the growth translates to huge opportunities and as a result over the past years they have anxiously been ramping up their operations in order to capture this potential. “There is huge capacity for growth in Africa and demand for services from companies who want to invest in Africa or are already there and want to expand,” says Ian Powell, Chairman of PwC in the UK. Although PwC already is one of the larger firms in Africa – with a headcount of 8,500 people (of which 4,500 work in South Africa) – it has announced an ambitious growth strategy. The key target: within the next 5 years, the headcount should be doubled. “The developed and mature economies have an ageing population and the single biggest concern from chief executives is access to a talented and educated workforce. Africa could provide a solution to that concern,” explains Powell. The growth plan in Africa is part of the strategy of PwC to develop high potential markets and is estimated to cost hundreds of million dollars. 

Suresh Kana, PwC Africa Network Territory Senior Partner: “This is great news for our network. Over the years we have built PwC into the leading network in Africa. We have great teams in Africa and this investment will help us build more local capacity and create teaming and secondment opportunities.”

Ian Powell and Suresh Kana - PwC

The UK organisation of PwC will play a central role in the African investment. Besides providing a large financial contribution to the total investment, Paul Cleal, PwC UK partner and chairman of its Africa business group, will join the African leadership team and transfer to the continent. In addition first or second-generation African employees of PwC UK will be offered the opportunity to if required (temporarily) relocate to Africa.

* The UN Conference on Trade and Development states that foreign direct investment in the African countries rose from $15 billion in 2002 to $46 billion in 2012.