South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Monday in London that Africa needed investment, and not foreign aid, to develop its people.
Ramaphosa, speaking when he delivered the keynote speech at the Financial Times Africa Summit 2019 in the British capital, said: “We have reached a moment in our history where Africa needs investment more than it needs foreign aid.”
He added that Africa was ready to be the next investment frontier and boasted innovative talent and capability that is capable of raising it to greater heights of human development.
“Africa is ready to partner with investors and the private sector because it’s been proven many times over, and in numerous countries, that discerning investors who have the foresight to invest in Africa can earn good returns,” the president told the two-day summit.
The gathering, which draws key decision-makers, financiers, investors and development partners from Africa and across the world, provides a platform to discuss potential for scaling up investment and trade with and within the African continent.
This year’s summit comes as Africa embraces the launch of the African Continental Free Trade Area.
The treaty brings together into a single market 54 nations of some 1.2 billion people and a combined GDP of over US$3 trillion.
Trade among African countries is currently at 15 percent compared to 47 percent in the Americas, 61 percent in Asia and 67 percent in Europe.
It is expected to increase the value of intra-African trade by 15 to 25 percent by 2040.