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Elumelu hails Kagame, Obama

08 July 2013, 15:02

Lagos - Prominent Nigerian entrepreneur Tony Elumelu praised United States President Barack Obama and Rwandan leader Paul Kagame for their commitment to promoting investment into Africa.

Elumelu hailed Obama, who recently visited the continent where he met business leaders and pledged his country’s dedication to renewing its dialogue with Africa, a move that is poised to boost the continent’s power sector.

“President Obama should be congratulated for his vision, and for providing the clearest proof yet that the rules of engagement with Africa are genuinely changing.

"I can already feel the impact of Obama's new dialogue with Africa. In interviews I had with international media covering his trip, aid and corruption were not the focus, thankfully. Rwandan President Paul Kagame is another positive role model for the continent—a progressive African leader who has both vision and commitment.

"Rwanda now ranks higher than any other sub-Saharan African country on global competitiveness, and ranks third in Africa overall. President Kagame and his team have created the sort of enabling environment that investors can only dream about elsewhere in Africa,” Elumelu said.

He said power was the single biggest obstacle to Africa’s development, and as such, it was the most catalytic and strategic investment stakeholders could make in Africa.

“That is why President Obama’s focus is so timely—and so necessary. Doubling our generating capacity will double Africa’s Gross Domestic Product and move us toward sustainable, domestically led growth.

"Given its economic importance, the power sector also presents an attractive investment opportunity for long-term investors: there is little competition, and so the return, when it comes, will be high.

"It will be similar to returns that early investors in African telecommunications realised before the sector became saturated and highly competitive,” he said.

Elumelu’s Heirs Holdings has committed US$2.5 billion in investment that will expand its recently acquired Nigerian power plant at Ughelli, as well as develop new brown and green-field projects across Africa.

- CAJ News


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