Africa has been booming for the past two decades, but the growth has not translated into more jobs, dire for Africa considering that it has the youngest and fastest growing population in the world according to the World Bank.
In his address at the 5th Investing in Africa Forum, President Paul Kagame, talked about this pressing issue of job creation, insisting that Africa has been blessed with hard-working and highly educated men and women, and that it is up to African governments and stakeholders to generate opportunities for them.
The theme of the forum is “Leveraging Partnerships for Economic diversification and Jobs Creation in African Economies.”
Most Africans are rural and dependent on agriculture, free trade between African countries would mean enabling those very same rural Africans to meet Africa’s growing food security needs.
Yet free trade depends on infrastructure being there to transport those goods in the first place, but according to President Kagame, these obstacles should be looked at as opportunities for public-private investment; which if combined with the appropriate technology would allow Africa to produce much more wealth with the same amount of labor and financial capital.
Africa he said, has therefore everything to gain by continuing to strengthen the foundations of strong, dynamic national economies, which form the building blocks of successful regional integration. And African governments have much work ahead to ensure that Africa maximizes its generally favorable economic outlook.
Denis Sassou Nguesso, the President of Republic of Congo, remarked in his opening address, on the contribution of Chinese capital in the economic development in Africa, calling for strengthened cooperation between China and African countries in areas including digital technologies and infrastructure construction; while Xu Hongcai, Vice Minister of China’s Ministry of Finance, pledged continued support to boost Africa’s economic development.
The Investing in Africa Forum is an annual event, initiated in 2015 by China and the World Bank, as a global platform to promote multilateral cooperation and investment opportunities in Africa.
This 5th iteration, attended by 5 African Presidents, was co-organized by the Republic of Congo, China’s Ministry of Finance, The China Development Bank and The World Bank; with the aim of to supporting economic diversification and jobs creation in African countries.
The four previous IAF were held respectively in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Guangzhou, China; Dakar, Senegal; and Changsha in China.