Marrakech (Morocco), Nov. 9, 2023: Some African leaders have reiterated the importance of accelerating industrial development on the continent.
They spoke at the ongoing Africa Investment Forum (AIF) Market Place in Marrakech, Morocco
The theme of the Forum is: ‘ Unlocking Africa’s Value Chains”.
The leaders include President Julius Bio of Sierra Leone; Rwandan Prime Minister Édouard Ngirente; President Samia Hassan of Tanzania; Mia Mottley and the Prime Minister of Barbados.
They highlighted the issues facing the continents, among which they said funding critical infrastructure was one of the major challenges.
They also deliberated on ways of ameliorating the challenges to the growth and development of Africa.
President Bio of Sierra Leone reiterated the need for African governments to diversify their economies aggressively.
He also called for value addition on commodities on the continent for increased job creation and revenue for the development and retaining of Africa’s youth on the continent.
He attributed the reason for the desperation of African youths to leave the continent to the poor knowledge index of the economy.
Bio said:” Value addition is a necessary option for growing resilient national economies across the continent.
“There is a need to make our economies more resilient. We need to pursue demographic dividends to make the youth a blessing rather than a curse.
“The continent needs to move from talking to action.”
Also speaking, the Rwandan Prime Minister urged governments on the continent to de-risk key sectors and ensure connectivity on the continent.
According to Ngirente, this will help attract more investments and grow the economy of Africa.
“The time is ticking quickly, and governments can not continue lamenting missed chances. We should move very fast in building the economy the citizens desire earnestly.
“It is important to discuss investment actions because Africa already knows its potential, capacity, and challenges.
“Implementing Africa’s agenda 2063, we need cohesion and synergy to work together as a continent,” he said.
Ngirente called for more government action to de-risk priority sectors and increase connectivity to facilitate the movement of goods and people on the continent.
“We have been talking about south-south cooperation, but we cannot work together if there is no movement of people
“We first need skilled people but also facilitate their movement from one country to another,” he added.
Similarly, the prime minister of Barbados also restated the importance of synergy in growing the African continent.
Mottley said through working together, the continent would be able to better tackle the effects of climate change that was affecting most economies.
Speaking on her government’s contribution to Africa’s growth, President Hassan of Tanzania said the government was using roads and water transport to boost connectivity on the continent.
“We have invested a lot in road construction and rehabilitation to connect Tanzania to other neighbouring countries.
“We are also using water transportation. We are involved in human capital investment and providing the right environment for businesses to thrive,” she said.
The President, therefore, called on African leaders to invest more in infrastructure and transportation to ensure growth and development.
AIF brought together Heads of State, government officials, captains of industry ,philanthropists, investors, and development finance institutions to advance investments on the continent.
The three-day forum aims to boost investors’ interest in bankable deals in energy, agribusiness, manufacturing, and other sectors where Africa holds a comparative advantage.