Business leaders in Africa – and globally – need to have a visionary perspective of the future, keeping industry transformations like Mega Trends on their radar in order to succeed in the current and still challenging economic climate.

This is one of the important key factors for businesses that emerged during Frost & Sullivan’s Growth, Innovation and Leadership (GIL) event held in Cape Town. GIL 2011: Africa brought together CEO’s and top executives from various industries for the purpose of sharing best practices, engaging one another in candid discussion, inspiring new ideas in accelerating growth and discovering innovative opportunities toward addressing global challenges.

Dorman Followill, partner at Frost & Sullivan, set the stage for an interactive event by delivering a thought provoking keynote on “The CEO’s Perspective on Growth in a Complex Business Environment”.

Another key factor, which formed part of leader discussions at GIL 2011: Africa, was that one of the more appealing ways for many companies to enter African markets today is through the formation of partnerships with local businesses. This not only reduces possible risk, but also provides on-the-ground expertise. Sunil Joshi, CEO of Neotel, mentioned that partnerships are fundamental in order to drive growth acceleration.

“Strategic partnerships encourage businesses to continue to look at new and more innovative ideas, allowing them to leverage a variety of tools and resources, such as the possibility of geographic expansion into various African regions,” says Frost & Sullivan’s consulting manager, Chantel Lindeman.

Interactive discussions around South Africa’s Mega Trends analysis also took place, which looked at the various ways in which Africa will develop over the next ten to thirty years. Global and regional trends, that will have a potential impact on business in Africa, were identified in order to assess and develop next-generation business models for success.