Davos: Africa must create ‘enabling environment’ for investment
Nigerian billionaire Aliko Dangote, who co-chaired the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting, expressed confidence that by 2050, ‘we will have a united Africa with one common market’. (Image: Flickr)
To realize its potential and guarantee sustainable and inclusive growth to its teeming population, Africa must create an enabling environment for domestic and foreign investment.
At the 44th World Economic Forum Annual Meeting which ended on Saturday, panelists identified the pervasive and growing inequality that is fuelling instability as one of the main challenges facing the continent.
Nigerian billionaire Aliko Dangote, who co-chaired the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting, pointed out that the majority of foreign investors are too cautious during elections. Thus, the investment climate suffers as foreign investors are not confident about political stability in African economies.
The President and CEO of Dangote Group added that people always underestimate what Africa can be and expressed confidence that by 2050, ‘we will have a united Africa with one common market’.
“Can you imagine if we had sufficient power? Our GDP could be 9 trillion US dollars by 2050,” he said.
However, he termed those businesses that wait for governments to create enabling environments as ‘lazy businesses’.
Also present at the forum, President of Ghana John Dramani Mahama said Africa’s population is expected to rise to two billion by the year 2050, a move that calls for proper plans in creating jobs for the youth.
He noted that economic and social plans should be their priority and governments should create space for the private sector.
To build on the progress Africa has made so far, said President Mahama, governments in Africa must continue to realise the democratic dividend of good governance, respect for human rights and rule of law.
On his part, President of Nigeria Mr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan lauded the stability in most African countries.
He stated that political stability in Africa because that is another area to unlock the continent’s huge security potential that also included corruption.
However in a major victory for the continent that is usually sidelined as an emerging Asia and Latin America lap up investor interest, the South African Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies noted that African issues are no longer deemed a ‘sideshow’.
The World Economic Forum meeting at Davos, Switzerland was held under the theme “The reshaping of the world: Consequences for society, politics and business.”
Over 2,500 participants from nearly 100 countries took part in the meeting, including 300 public figures, 1,500 business leaders and representatives from civil society, academia, the media and arts.