The revival of African economies is the theme of the Forum organised by the French Council of Investors in Africa (CIAN) on Thursday in Paris.
Before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the six most dynamic economies in the world were African. But after over a year of health restrictions, countries that depend mainly on oil and tourism have paid a heavy price.
In order to create wealth, these nations will have to diversify.
Akinwumi Adesina, the president of the African Development Bank, shared his perspective with Africanews journalist Bridget Ugwe.
“Every time there is a crisis, it’s like a song: “We must diversify, we must diversify! But after the crisis, we forget. Take for example agriculture, for agriculture to be modernised, the value chains must be developed!
“There is also the Continental Free Trade Area which brings together all African countries with a combined GDP of at least 3,000 billion dollars. But to be profitable, there must be real industrialisation of this zone, so that it is not only a zone where goods are exchanged but rather a zone in which there are companies, industries….”
Ugwe summarised the current state of economic affairs being discussed at the forum.
“Faced with the shock of unprecedented proportions. Africa has shown a resilience that has been hailed by a large majority of the speakers at this forum.
“The economic crisis caused by the pandemic has finally acted as an accelerator for the transformation of businesses, which will have no choice but to reinvent themselves in order to survive.”
Samy Agli, the president of the Algerian Confederation of Civil Employers (CAPC), is passionate about authentic African economic production from the Motherland to the world.
“COVID has already imposed another way of doing business and all this translates into huge opportunities for Africa, which is now the place where there is growth.
“It is up to us Africans to create the necessary ecosystem so that Africans stay at home, work from Africa and create wealth in Africa and around the world but from Africa.”
Another growth lever is the digital revolution on the African continent — which has resulted in a boom in business creation.
Mamé Fatou Gueye, a Microsoft senior partner and development manager in the northern and western African region, provided some insight on African’s budding digitalisation journey.
“This new digital economy can allow the continent to catch up. It would have taken 10 years to catch up economically, but with the digital tools available today and the digital strategies of the various states, the African continent is really becoming an economic power on the digital level.”
Guest of honour at this edition was Togo — represented by its Prime Minister, Victoire Tomegah-Dogbé.
The country, which inaugurated the largest solar power plant in West Africa in June, recorded a growth rebound of +1.1% in 2020 — despite the pandemic.