26 January 2014

Africa Urged to Create Investment Environment

Davos — AFRICA needs to create an enabling environment for domestic and foreign investment, to realise its potential and ensure sustainable and inclusive growth for its population.

Speaking during the 44th World Economic Forum Annual Meeting which ended on Saturday, panelists agreed that Africa has challenges to overcome, including pervasive and growing inequality that is fuelling instability.

A panelist from Tanzania who is creative Director of Eskado Bird, Ms Doreen Noni, noted that young people in Africa are not well trained in entrepreneurial skills.

"We need to awaken our youth and direct them to be entrepreneurs. We can only make our continent grow if we are educated enough to change our mindsets," she observed.

In 2012, Ms Noni was one of the 70 selected youth from 36 countries chosen to be in the delegation of global shapers in Davos. She was the only delegate from Tanzania who attended this year's meeting.

Speaking at the meeting, 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.

"Economic and social plans should be our priority. We should create space for the private sector," he said.

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.

"We need political stability in Africa because that is another area to unlock the continent's huge security potential that also included corruption.

Aliko Dangote, President and Chief Executive Officer, Dangote Group, Nigeria, pointed out that the majority of foreign investors are too cautious during elections.

"People always underestimate what Africa can be. I am sure 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.

The meeting 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.

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