By Selassie Tandoh
More than 1,200 delegates from Africa attended the African economic summit held in Egypt last week to discuss possible investment that will boost the continent’s growth.
Delegates including president of Sudan, Togo , Nigeria and Gabon and dozens of African ministers and senior trade and investment officials attended the conference organised by Egypt and the African Union (AU) at the Red Sea resort in Sharm el-Shaikh aimed to find possible business proposals to attract private sector investment.
Although participants of “Africa 2016” did not reveal the final investment figures, they said they are planning to improve sectors including infrastructure, health and information technology.
During the conference leading bankers said that despite the several challenges that Africa is facing such as state corruption and emerging from terrorism, African still offers great opportunities for investment.
Akinwuni Adesina head of the Africa Development Bank said: “Africa is doing well despite the challenging it is facing”.
Mr Adesina said the bank planned to invest $12bn in the continent’s energy sector over the next five years. Although about 645 million people in Africa have no access to electricity, Mr Adesina suggested to increase the participation of private sector in the control of the energy business in order to improve the issue.
According to analysts Africa produces about only 2% of global trade, despite recent economic growth.
Egyptian president, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said, the continent needs to push forwad trade and investment to increase Africa’s place in the world economy.
Sindiso Nywenya, head of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa also proposed for inside trade between Africa countries that will give more confidence to foreign investors. He said: “When our own people invest then other investors get confidence”.
Benedict Oramah, president of African Export-Import Bank also said: “if you have power and rail Africa will explode” suggesting that a better infrastructure and electricity will improve significantly the continent’s economic growth.
Nigerian president, Muhammadu Buhari said: “ The new problem affecting investment is international terrorism…lot of resources that could be used for development are being diverted to address security issues”.