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Africa needs to invest to compete

A plenary session held as part of the concluding celebrations resolved that Africa has to adopt three notions which governments have to deal with; urgency, competition and complexity.

It noted that although most African countries had been independent for 30-50 years, the continent still lagged behind in terms of development. 
Africa Development Bank country representative Mahamudu Bawamia said Africa’s time was now.


President Robert Mugabe said generally sub Saharan Africa had faced gloomy macroeconomic prospects in the 1980s, fuelling talk of the lost decade and even got the tag of a hopeless continent.  However, he said there had been an improvement in economic performance with China’s presence in Africa.
Bawamia said that where Africa had fallen short was on legal capacity to negotiate complex contracts.

“The legal capacity area has been neglected. In most instances governments have entered into commercial agreements with onerous terms, which often create problems in the future,” he said.

The AfDB had set up a legal capacity foundation to help African governments on legal contractual agreements.

Employment creation and investment into technology were also important keys in the delivery of capacity; “If you have to compete in skills then you need to capacitate the skills function,” Bawamia said.

African countries, he said, were major net skill suppliers globally due to the exodus of qualified professionals which are absorbed by market in the developed world.

Noudehou said capacity must be linked to resilience.

He said: “Growth is good but only when it translates to improved economic activity.”

ACBF was formed in 1991 supported by the World Bank, the African Development Bank and the United Nations Development Programme. The main purpose was for it to mitigate the severity of Africa’s need to build capacity.

The foundation has invested US$400 million to develop African countries.

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