Heads of African Investment Promotion Agencies, businessmen and women as well as academia will meet in Accra on Wednesday, January 25, to strategise on how African nations can add value to natural resources through Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to boost their economies and create jobs.
The discussions will be held during the First Assembly of African Investment Promotion Agencies (AAIPA) meeting at the Kempinski Gold Coast City Hotel, Accra, where participants would deliberate on measures necessary for the adoption of Common Trade Framework and Investment Protocol to enhance intra-African trade and Investment.
This will take place alongside the Africa Prosperity Dialogue series, to discuss ways to enhance economic growth and transformation of the continent.
The World Investment Report by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in 2021, indicates that post-Covid-19 pandemic, Africa’s foreign direct investment increased from some $40 billion in 2020 to $83 billion in 2021, which was the highest the continent had achieved over the last few years.
Mr Reginald Yofi Grant, the Chief Executive Officer, Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC), at a news conference in Accra on Monday, said the Africa needed to re-position itself to attract FDI to boost investment in its numerous natural resources.
“This meeting has become quite important because of the developing landscape in the global economy. And not only that, but Africa is trying to forge a new narration on its relationships with nations around the world after the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused lots of disruption to trade and investments globally,” he said.
“I’m also representing Sub-Saharan Africa on the Board of the World Association of Investment Promotion Agencies and my remit is to rally all the agencies in Africa for our mutual benefit, re-access the opportunities and re-position ourselves as major recipients of foreign direct investment.”
The GIPC Boss noted that even though Africa had many natural resource endowments, including lithium, bauxite, and gold, and with 70 per cent of the world’s arable lands, it was still a small player in terms of global FDI attraction with only 5.2 per cent.
He underscored the need for the leaders to leverage on the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) to trade among themselves since it was one of the largest trading blocs in the world.
“We need to take advantage of the AfCFTA for wealth creation on the continent. If you look at the 480 major companies in Africa generating a billion dollar per year, most of them are multinationals and so we need indigenous ones to grow and create jobs for the teeming youth in Africa,” Mr Grant said.
He lamented the low percentage of intra-African trade, hovering around 18 per cent, and urged African leaders to leverage on the huge population of the continent; 1.4 billion, for wealth creation.