Africa: What Africa Needs to Do to Attract Foreign Direct Investment

6 September 2019

President Cyril Ramaphosa says for African countries to be on the rise and attract investment, they need to address governance issues, root out corruption and improve the ease of doing business.

The President said this when he participated in a panel discussion with several Heads of States at the World Economic Forum on Africa in Cape Town on Thursday.

The panel discussion, themed "Africa: Rising Continent in a Fractured World", solicited views from several Presidents, including Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa, Namibian President Hage Geingob, Swaziland President Mandulo Dlamini and Botswana's President Mokgweetsi Masisi, among others.

"We need to strengthen governance. The institutions in our countries need to be strengthened. We need to address the problem that has always beset the continent, which is corruption.

"We need to rid our countries of corruption, maladministration and to reposition our countries as countries that can be attractive to investors," he said.

The World Economic Forum on Africa, which concludes on Friday, is a meeting that brings together Heads of States and captains of industry across the African continent, with each country aiming to sway investors to their shores.

President Ramaphosa said African countries need to facilitate the ease of doing business.

"Companies must know they can come to any of our countries on the continent and find that they are not bogged down by bureaucratic processes and they can come and do business easily, there is a rule of law, institutions function.

"The other important thing is infrastructure. Africa is lacking hugely in infrastructure development so we have got to improve our infrastructure and this is an area that is going to require enormous resources but at the same time, with smart partnerships that we can strike through various partners, we can address the infrastructure gap that exists," he said.

While African countries were endowed with mineral resources, it was time they diversified their economies and moved away from complex resource-based type of economies and unleash further areas of growth through industrialisation and through manufacturing.

The President said African countries need partnerships with the rest of investment world.

"The future is great, it looks very bright for the African continent and if there is ever such a time where Africa can definitely be said to be on the rise, this is the time so this is Africa's century and we want to utilize it to good effect."

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