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Transparency, infrastructure key to economic growth

26 March 2014, 08:39Okoro Chinedu

Lagos - A prominent economist urged local policy makers to ensure transparency and provide infrastructure to spur economic development.

“Africa's future depends on the continent’s policy makers doing the right thing. That is working to create better governance, reducing crime, fighting corruption and delivering improved infrastructure. Infrastructure development is both a defining challenge and a standout investment opportunity for Africa and investors around the world,” said Jim O’Neill, creator of the BRICs and MINT acronyms, at the just-ended Africa Finance Corporation’s inaugural Summit held in Lagos.

“For example, Nigeria is growing at 7 percent despite poor access to power; decent power could boost economic growth to 10 percent -12percent. There is no reason why Nigeria should not become one of the G20,” he added.

The summit, which attracted more than 500 leading thinkers from government, academia, business and finance, fuelled energetic debate on both the opportunities and the challenges of the African infrastructure landscape.

Infrastructure in general has been estimated to have the potential to add an average of 2 percent to Africa’s economic growth rate over the next decade as investment is brought to bear to bridge the current circa US$40 billion per annum investment deficit.

Andrew Alli, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Africa Finance Corporation, told the summit was beat at the prospects of local economic growth.

“Our role is to accelerate the number of viable, bankable projects across the continent, creating the market for other forms of capital that will follow, and ultimately bridging the investment divide that exists. We believe landmark transformational projects can yield financial dividends every bit as powerful as their social ones and our success to date demonstrates this,” he said.

– CAJ News

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