Experts proffer ways for economic growth in Africa


Experts at a pan-African virtual forum dubbed ‘The Africa we want series’ have proposed prudential actions that the continent should take to promote economic growth and favourably streamline its efforts toward Agenda 2063.

Agenda 2063 is Africa’s master plan for transforming the continent into the global powerhouse of the future, which experts say can be achieved if countries complement the right policies with required investments.

The panelists, who agreed that Agenda 2063 is a reality, added that its actualisation should be anchored on human resource development, particularly through an educational system which ensures the acquisition of innovative skills, entrepreneurial skills, creativity and high ethical standards. They also suggested strong political leadership to drive effort toward the agenda. Agriculture, technology small- and medium-scale enterprises were among the sectors they said can accelerate Agenda 2063.

Chief Economist at Policy Initiative for Economic Development (PIED Africa) – organiser of the forum, Dr. Daniel Amateye Anim, exphasised that a robust and sound financial system capable of supporting African entrepreneurs is crucial aside from the contribution of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).

He added that internal financing of projects is critical, and governments’ investments in real sectors of the economies are key in creating opportunities for the citizens. Investments in key sectors such as agriculture, he noted, is critical to ensuring food security on the continent.

“Respective governments on the continent must add value to our natural resources before exporting them. This, in my view, will attract more inflows necessary for infrastructure development. Political leaders must be cautioned against the canker of corruption, since it has a high propensity of derailing economic growth and development,” he stated.

Meanwhile, Minister of Science, Innovation and Technology for Uganda, Dr. Monica Musenero, said the educational system in Africa has to put an emphasis on teaching students the skills they will need to be more productive.

She stressed that the continent’s economic progress depends on productivity, and also emphasised the need for political leaders to prioritise peace and security.

She equally suggested that political leaders must be courageous and demand trade agreements and other bilateral arrangements that will benefit the continent.

The minister advised that Africa must detach itself from “external thinking philosophy”, and rather have a mindset capable of telling its story better.

The President of Human Capital International, Dr. Emmanuel Dei-Tumi, also recommended that Agenda 2063 should be part of the educational curriculum taught at all levels; and more importantly at the basic levels, since human capital is key to actualising it.

He said by this arrangement, the citizens will be abreast with the vision and run with it. He advised political leaders to be proactive in their decision-making process and ensure that their economic strategies and policies reflect the continental vision, which is the ‘Africa We Want’. To him, Agenda 2063 is a very strategic plan but ought to be pursued in a manner that will ensure its realisation.

For her part, the Policy Consultant for European Council on Foreign Relation, Zaina Adamu, supported the idea of massive investment in agriculture and value addition to make the continent more competitive.

She added that challenges the continent is faced with must not intimidate its progress, as developed economies equally have challenges but strive for growth.

To achieve Agenda 2063, she said, the game changer is determination and commitment from political leaders coupled with human capital development.

Dr. George Chaiman, who represented the Minister of Trade and Industry for Malawi, Katsonga Phiri, indicated that the ability of Africa to deal with internal factors – coupled with massive investment in human capital and support for entrepreneurs on the continent – will go a long way to help it realise the Agenda.

The panellists agreed that external forces could impede the pace of Agenda 2063; however, leaders ought to be cautious of their actions, inactions and policy-decisions.

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