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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

WEF: Africa's Growth March to Continue in Stride

Source: IDN

 

GENEVA (IDN) - There is good news from Africa. The continent is witnessing the second fastest economic growth, and according to knowledgeable sources it may grow even faster in 2013. What is more, currently Africa accounts for 14 sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) with a total amount of USD114 billion in 2009, representing 3% of global SWFs, and that share is expected to increase in future with the establishment of new SWFs.

After expanding 5% a year in the past two years, well above the global average, Africa’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product) is on track to grow by 5.3% this year. This was the upshot od from a televised debate with the presidents of Nigeria and South Africa and business leaders at the 43rd World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland.

“If certain bottlenecks were taken out, I can easily see that doubling,” said Graham Mackay, Chairman of the British SABMiller. The global brewer was established in South Africa more than a century ago and has extensive investments across the continent. Mackay singled out infrastructure development as probably the key driver to Africa’s continued economic progress.

South African President Jacob G. Zuma stressed that the countries that comprise Africa are determined to consolidate their gains. “We realize that intra-trade is not enough and are working hard on that,” he said. Africa is not consumed with conflict, he added. “We are also dealing with the economic issues. We’ve just discussed and agreed to integrate three of the five economic regions, creating a free trade area of more than half a billion people.”

There are risks for investors wherever you invest in the world, said Nigerian President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. But in Africa, political instability is no longer one of them. “Presently, about three African states have conducted successful elections two times,” he said. “Most African states have stable political systems.”

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