Cape Town — AS the 23rd World Economic Forum on Africa closed here on Friday, participants called for more investments into Africa and economic diversification to build buffers against adverse internal and external conditions.
The participants said the question was no longer 'if' but 'how' Africa would grow and there was, therefore, need to build on the recent growth by investing in human capital and economic diversification.
Calling for investment to consolidate and make more inclusive African growth, leaders from across the continent gathered to close the 2013 World Economic Forum on Africa, whose theme was 'Delivering on Africa's promise.'
"We've had a couple of days of very exciting conversations about what is happening on the continent," said Entrepreneurial Solutions Partners (ESPartners) co-founder Eric Kacou, a Young Global leader and member of the Global Agenda Council on Fostering Entrepreneurship.
"I think in Africa we are in the middle of a metamorphosis, people are just starting to recognise there is potential."
Nigerian Minister of Finance Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said this was Africa's generation.
"I felt very encouraged, very energised by the Young Global shapers. They are the people who will ultimately take this continent forward," Dr Okonjo-Iweala said.
"The era of pessimism is over in Africa. The African lions are growing even faster than the Asian Tigers," said World Economic Forum managing director and member of the managing Board, Børge Brende.
Mr Brende, however, warned that if the economic growth was not invested in human capital and diversifying economies, Africa would lose out on the opportunity.
Articulating the realism, Frontier Advisory chief executive officer, Young Gobal leader and member of the Global Agenda Council on China, Martyn Davies, laid out the challenges and opportunities ahead.
"If we look back in 20 years, what will have become of this high growth we're enjoying?" Mr Davies asked.
Source: Times of Zambia