Africa is moving toward more inclusive growth – Standard Bank’s Group CEO


The Group CEO of Standard Bank in South Africa, Sim Tshabalala, has said there are several signs indicating that Africa is now moving toward inclusive growth, as the continent’s middle-class continues to grow.

According to him, many more African countries are now witnessing rising income growth – despite the fact that poverty remains a major obstacle limiting growth on the continent.

Speaking on the theme ‘Making Growth Inclusive – The Role and Limits of Entrepreneurship’, during the first day of the Africa Global Business Forum being held in Dubai, Sim Tshabalala said Africa currently seems to be getting it right with regard to trading, as it fights to remove bottlenecks and promote more intra-African trade.

He pointed out that the continent’s middle-class seems to be growing and doing well as incomes rise, which is key to alleviating poverty.

“The best solutions for alleviating poverty are good policies, a better macroeconomic environment, regional integration, robust infrastructure and modern educational and academic institutions,” Mr. Tshabalala said.

The session he spoke at highlighted economic trends in Africa, which have shifted rapidly over the last decade.

Mr. Tshabalala also cited Kenya as a success story, having achieved 6% growth and having become one of the leading ICT countries in the world thanks to improvements in its higher education system, regulatory environment, and ease of doing business.

South Africa, he said, needs to examine how to use the current resources available for generating nation-wide growth.

The Group CEO of Standard Bank suggested the establishment of incubators to support start-ups and entrepreneurs, and stressed that government’s role is not to create jobs but instead provide the right environment for job-creation.

He concluded the session by highlighting the urgent need for Africa to facilitate and stimulate job-creation, and noted that the continent is on track to becoming home to a fifth of the world’s population by 2025 – which he says will create great demand for employment opportunities.

The Global Business Forum on Africa has become a reliable platform for exploring the continent’s economic outlook – both current and future – as evidenced by the high-profile attendees that have participated in the event since its inception.

To date, the series has hosted 10 heads of state, 74 ministers and dignitaries, and 5,400 executives as well as a host of influential decision-makers from 65 countries around the world.

Sponsors and partners for the 2017 edition of the event include: Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB) as gold sponsor; Standard Bank – South Africa; Invest South Africa; and Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum International Photography Award (HIPA).

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