of African Presidents want to “unleash the potential of the continent”

of African Presidents want to “unleash the potential of the continent”

AA / Abidjan / Fulbert Yao

African Presidents called, Thursday in Abidjan, to invest more in the African continent, on the occasion of the forum for investment in Africa which is being held in the Ivorian capital from November 2 to 4.

They are Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Emmerson Dambudzo Mnagagwa, Sahle-Worke Zwede respectively Presidents of Ghana, Zimbabwe, the Federal Republic of Ethiopia and the Vice-President of Côte d’Ivoire , Tiemoko Meylet Koné, who moderated a panel on the theme: “How to unlock Africa’s potential”.

“Africa is changing, Africa is moving and Africa is moving forward. It is important not to be backward in this movement. At the level of Côte d’Ivoire, it is nearly 4300 billion CFA francs [6,4 milliards de dollars] investment expected from the private sector. It is the investors who must take over and enable the flawless achievement of development in the continent. This is valid for Côte d’Ivoire as well as for all African countries. Africa must move, investors must move with it,” said Tiémoko Meyliet Koné during the presidential panel.

The President of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia recalled certain principles that Africans themselves must apply.

“We need to change the prism through which we see Africa. Africa which is hungry, which is backward, belongs to the past. It is a continent on the move and we will have to accompany it. We must change the narrative around the continent and avoid that it is constantly portrayed on the negative side,” she pleaded.

“We must also change this paradox of a rich continent, (…) with a poor population. It is up to us to do this with the help of national and international investors. Peace and security will only be better maintained if we have a significant influx of investments that advance our development,” she said.

The President of the Republic of Zimbabwe assured that for “those who want to make money, Zimbabwe is open”.

Emmerson Mnangagwa also clarified that his “country is carrying out comprehensive economic reforms to create an economic environment in which global capital will feel safe. We also have a highly qualified workforce that can adapt to all technologies”.

The President of Ghana, for his part, insisted on the potential of Africa, “30% of mining products, 70% of arable land, the highest rate of investors in the last 30 years, are in Africa. More importantly: we took the decision to set up the Zlecaf [Zone de libre-échange africaine]that will transform the economic future of our country. This will be the main instrument for trade between our countries. Smart money is in Africa,” said Nana Akufo-Addo.

During this panel, the risks associated with investing in Africa, the priorities for investing in African countries, the issues of gender and African youth, as well as the issues of the interconnectivity of African countries, the African Continental Free Trade Area (Zlecaf), health, social and economic infrastructure, youth training and the integration of women into the socio-economic fabric were discussed.

The Africa Investment Forum (AIF) is organized by the African Development Bank Group, with the aim of being a multi-stakeholder and multidisciplinary platform that offers the opportunity for governments to interact with investors.


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