President John Mahama has expressed optimism that Africa can become the next China, because of the numerous opportunities available to investors on the continent.
According to him, the continent has the capacity of transforming into the next China and become an economic power house if investments are sustained and focused on helping to develop the countries.
He explained saying, “investors look for low cost areas to do business and with China becoming what it is becoming, wages and compensations in China are going up…so a lot of African countries should be attracting higher value light industry to create jobs for what is the fastest growing population in the world.”
President Mahama made these remarks when he contributed to a panel discussion on issues of growth in Africa at the opening of the Africa Global Forum in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE).
In his submission, he noted that Africa is a continent which has wealth of opportunities and investors from across the globe are taking advantage of them.
He described the situation as “exciting” and urged Africans to be happy the continent is attracting investments.
According to the 2013 Africa Infrastructure Investment Report, the rapid growth on the continent implies that by 2040, the GDP of African countries will multiply six-fold, and the average per capita income will rise above US$10,000 for all countries.
This continuing growth and prosperity is expected to swell the demand for infrastructure, which is already one of the continent’s greatest impediments to sustainable development.
According to him, one of the major hindrances to Africa’s growth is the low level of trade amongst countries adding that “our trade patterns are still connected with the colonial traditions that we inherited…at 11% trade amongst ourselves is shamefully low and so it’s good to have a bigger picture of our continent.”
He was however pleased to note that perceptions about the continent is drastically changing due to availability of information.
This, he said has largely contributed to revealing new opportunities on the continent to investors.
The President commended major international networks including the CNN and the BBC for devoting airtime to the phenomenal success stories about Africa.
President Mahama also answered questions on Transparency, good governance and accountability and if it was a hindrance to potential investors.
He was joined by the Rwandan President, Paul Kagame and Ethiopian President, Mulatu Wirtu.