15 November 2012

Rwanda: Exclusive Growth, Identified As Boosting Instability in Africa

In the recently concluded African Economic Conference (AEC) which was winded in Kigali on November 2nd under the theme "Inclusive and sustainable development in an age of economic uncertainty", it was revealed that continued growth that is not transforming into tangible inclusion of youths in the development process may result into instabilities than economic transformation on the continent.

Speaking at the closing event of the conference, Prof. Mthuli Ncube, AfDB Vice President and Chief Economist highlighted that the 5% growth that the Africa experienced is still challenged with transforming that into poverty alleviation amongst its inhabitants if it is to be celebrated.

Among other issues that were discussed during the conference is contending for sustainable democracy as that is the pillar for economic transformation of a people, drawing examples from such countries as Mauritius and Botswana which have experienced steady in the last two decades resulting from stable and inclusive political terrains.

"African countries that democratized during the 1990s have made some development progress, while lingering semi-democracies and autocracies performed much more poorly as a group and have continued to slide backwards," Prof. Ncube noted.

Concerning the growth of the African economy, other economists including Rwanda's finance minister John Rwangobwa noted that the growth of the continent in the next decade should be tremendous but adding that this will only be achieved if the continent places itself as the attractive destination for foreign direct investments.

"Policy-makers working closely with researchers and think tanks of the continent can turn the challeng¬es of economic uncertainty in the rest of the world, mainly the west and America, into opportunities. We must present ourselves as the most profitable and secure destination of investors' funds that are scared of the problems in the Western markets," Rwangombwa said.

He added that, "It is worrying to know that Africa attracts less than 9% of FDI. We need as much as possible to continue reducing the uncertain¬ties about the evolution of our econo¬mies."

Meanwhile according to Prof. Ncube, "Economic growth that is not equitable, broad-based and does not create jobs and opportunities for women and the young has no resilience," and thus the continent's politicians were awaken to the tune of investing in skills development for the youths, bringing about structural changes that boost job creation among others.

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