For the Nigerian magnate who traveled to Abidjan for the fourth edition of the Africa CEO Forum, the slowdown in global growth and in Africa is an opportunity to invest, which entrepreneurs of the continent must seize.
Côte d’Ivoire: 4th edition of the Africa CEO Forum in Abidjan
How can Africa cope with the unfavorable economic environment of the world economy, which is characterized by falling oil and mineral prices, stagnation in Europe and the slowdown of the Chinese engine? This is the question that the speakers of the first panel of the Africa CEO Forum, on Monday, March 21 in Abidjan.
Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank, reiterated a strong idea in his opening speech, recalling that, with expected growth of around 4.4% in 2016, the outlook for the continent remains bright and Higher than the world average (3.4% forecast by the IMF this year). “I am not worried about what is happening outside the continent. Africa is still doing very well, despite the difficulties,” said the Nigerian leader.
The Kenyan Vice-President William Ruto, a decisively optimistic and serene approach, said: “The drop in commodity prices has not changed Africa’s fundamentals,” said the Kenyan leader. “We have enormous natural resources , The biggest growth opportunity for the middle class and the largest share of the young population in the world The biggest returns on investment are in Africa, so keep an eye on [this] and not be Small challenges of the moment. “
In a much-anticipated speech, Nigerian billionaire Aliko Dangote, present for the first time at the Africa CEO Forum, said the challenges faced by African economies offer “an opportunity to move forward.”
“This is the best time to invest and make acquisitions, because asset prices are declining and good deals are plentiful,” said Dangote Group boss, who recalled that the Nigerian conglomerate was Its share to invest up to $ 18 billion by 2020 in particular in hydrocarbon refining, petrochemicals, agriculture and cement across the 18 African countries in which it is present.
Addressing the 800 participants of the Africa CEO Forum, Aliko Dangote encouraged African entrepreneurs to believe and invest on the continent: “If we Africans do not and do not set an example, no one else Will come to invest in Africa, “he insisted.
However, the participants did not evade the real difficulties experienced by the economies of the region. Akinwumi Adesina pointed out in particular the deficit in transport and energy infrastructures. South African entrepreneur Jonathan Oppenheimer, the heir to the founding family group of mining giant Anglo American, regretted a political environment that often limits growth and low security of capital.
Moulay hafid El Alamy, founder of the Moroccan group Saham and Minister of Industry of the Sherifian kingdom, reminded him of the imperative for African countries to have a clear and long-term development direction and strategy.