Abuja - The African Development Bank (AfDB) on Wednesday urged Nigeria,
Kenya and South Africa to synergise and drive inclusive growth in the
Prof. Mthuli Ncube, AfDB Chief Economist, made the call in Abuja at the 24th
World Economic Forum on Africa with the theme: "Forging Inclusive growth,
Ncube spoke as a panelist on the topic, “Driving Competitiveness through
Cooperation, integration and Economic growth’’.
He said that growth was positive in the region, but the inequalities
remained to be high.
He said if the three countries could synergise, it would help to reduce the
average poverty rate of 48 percent presently in the region.
According to him, the informal sector of the economy, where the small
businesses are high, should be encouraged.
Seyi Bickersteth, Chairman, KMPG global Africa practice, said efforts must
be geared towards improving intra-African trade currently at 12 percent.
“For us to have a positive growth, we need to integrate, get rid of the guys
at the boarders to reduce cost and time of business and movement,’’ he said.
He said that boarder check remained a major hindrance to free movement of
goods in the region, adding that energy issues were another problem that should
be tackled to help businesses that would create jobs and reduce inequality
Bickersteth said the adoption of privatisation of the energy sector by the
Nigerian government was a step in the right direction, adding that private
sector participation was critical to drive the sector.
He added that private sector participation would drive different market
forces and also help reduce corruption.
"Our political leaders have to step down their egos and provide enabling
environment for private sector to play a major role,’’ he said.
Also speaking, Cas Coovadia, Acting CEO Business Unity, South Africa, said
there was no reason for the three economies not to integrate.
He said that the hosting of the WEF in Nigeria was a great opportunity to
see the largest economy in the region.
He said that leaders should copy initiatives that had worked positively in
individual economies and replicate to bring positive economic growth.
Coovadia called for effective use of the large natural resources in the
region, adding that the fight against corruption should be intensified in the
“We need efficient private sector participation, enhanced infrastructure and
“The opportunity is there, Nigeria has huge business sector, we need to get
together and see how to drive the economy of Africa to create jobs,’’ he said.
He called for improved education sector that could create skills needed by
the work force in the future.
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