Skip to content

Poll Reveals 70% of African Businesses Expect their Revenues to Decrease by More Than 10% Next Month

In a live poll conducted by on April 22 as part of its webinar series, Crisis Management for African Business Leaders, nearly 70% of webinar participants predicted that their business revenue will decrease by more than 10% next month.  47% indicated that they expect their revenue to decrease by more than 25% next month, and 24% indicated that they expect revenues to decrease by more than 50% next month. Only 20% indicated that they expect revenue to remain the same or increase.

Approximately 1,500 business leaders participated in the poll.  Participants came from 41 countries across the African continent, with the largest representation coming from Nigeria, followed by South Africa, Kenya, Ghana and Ethiopia.  60% of the participants have one of the following titles: CEO, managing director, president, principal, partner, CFO, chair, chief, director, executive director, group head, general manager, or manager.  Of the remaining 40%, the leading titles are analyst and consultant.

The largest sectors represented are financial services and professional services, followed by energy and manufacturing.  A smaller tier consisted of real estate, health care, agriculture, health care, and media, arts & entertainment. 

The live poll preceded a panel discussion on Liquidity – Managing Cash Flow When Sources of Revenue and Funding Dry Up moderated by Kunle Elebute, Chair, KPMG, with the following panelists:  Welela Dawit, CFO, GE; Admassu Tadesse, President and Chief Executive, Trade and Development Bank; and Sim Tshabalala, Chief Executive, Standard Bank Group. Chair and CEO Teresa Clarke commented:

 “The poll results are supported by the qualitative data we collected from the 10,000 registrants for the webinar series.  We asked registrants what their greatest concern is with respect to COVID-19.  Responses were open ended, and we received 10,000 responses ranging from 10-100 words.  By far, the greatest concern expressed was reduction in revenue.  But interestingly, many commented that while they were concerned about revenues, it was because they were concerned about being able to pay their employees.  One respondent commented, ‘In Africa, we care more about people than profits.’”

The panel discussion is part of a four part series on crisis management developed by and three faculty members from Harvard Business School.  The next webinar discussion will take place on Wednesday, April 29, and is moderated by Hakeem Belo-Osagie, Chair of FSDH Merchant Bank and Harvard Business School Senior Lecturer of Business Administration.  That webinar is entitled “This isn’t the West – How Africa’s Informal Sector Reacts to COVID-19.”  For more information and free registration, please visit