Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Economic forum expected to drive Africa growth

JOHANNESBURG, May 8 (Xinhua) -- The World Economic Forum on Africa will expose international investors and business community to abundant investment opportunities in Africa and will help South Africa to influence the international economics, a senior South Africa economic expert said ahead of the forum.

In an interview with Xinhua last week, Dr. Oren Dayan of School of Economic and Business Sciences at Wits University said the "forum is extremely important to Africa." With a theme: "Delivering on Africa's Promise", the forum will be held in Cape Town, South Africa from May 8-10. It will be held under three key sub-themes -- Accelerating Economic Diversification, Boosting Strategic Infrastructure and Unlocking Africa's Talent.

"It is a great opportunity to let investors and governments around the world to be exposed to the phenomenal growth of Africa and the opportunities in Africa,"Dayan said.

The continent is seeing impressive developments, economic growth, unity and political stability. South Africa is leading Africa flagship by representing the continent at several international platforms witnessed with its recent involvement and key role in BRICS grouping.

"The involvement of South Africa in global economic trends and even further, hosting the WEF bring South Africa closer to a leader position," Dayan said.

The forum is expected to provide an important platform to deepen the continent's integration agenda and renew commitment to a sustainable path of growth and development.

"The involvement from African governments will be also a vital part in achieving mutual economic growth," said Dayan.

With an expected annual growth of 5 percent in 2012-2013, sub- Saharan Africa continues its transformative journey from a developing continent to a hub of global growth but its still face a number of challenges that are procrastinating its full growth.

The main challenges are political stability and corruption, Dayan said. "These two factors are increasing the country risk of African countries," he added.

"Africa governments should address these issues seriously, while setting examples to the public and demonstrating real atmosphere change in the political environment that we have been exposed to up to now."

"African governments have a lot to do," Dayan said. "This phrase of economic growth requires a lot of hard work and mainly commitment."

African g governments are doing a lot to lure international and regional investors including easing their legislations to become investor friendly.

Dayan said still more needs to be done to attract investors in especially at regional integration point of view. Africa needs investors who can invest on cross border level and this can be facilitated not only by policies but infrastructure.

"Africa governments should improve on infrastructure such as transport, technology and most important, liberalization of existing trade agreements."

Referring to integrative laws and infrastructure, Dayan said Africa countries should be united as strengthened relationships among African countries will significantly contribute towards regional and global trade and economic stability.

He urged Africa governments to strength domestic revenues to balance liberalization of existing trades.

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