Obasanjo who is a panel member pleaded with the G20 countries bloc to help fight tax evasion and the system of tax havens or shell companies used to pump money out of Africa, which is estimated to be losing some $50 billion in illicit financial outflows annually.
In an article written by Obasanjo, and published at the website of the project syndicate G-20, he called on G-20 nations to help close Africa’s energy-financing gap – estimated at $55 billion per year through 2030 – in support of the continent’s renewable-energy production.
At the close of its two-day summit, the G-20 vowed to push forward the industrialization in Africa through voluntary policy options, which include supporting sustainable agriculture and agro-industry development, deepening the local production base and promoting investment in renewable energy while promoting science, technology and innovation as critical means for its industrialization.
In spite of G-20’s endorsement on paper, it’s quite another story to implement the group’s sustainable development agenda for Africa, said Barry Sautman, a political scientist at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.
Sautman said that while Africa may be rich in natural resources and energy, which presents plenty of opportunities for developed countries to tap into, divergent interests and levels of competition have kept the group’s member nations from joining hands to unlock the continent’s growth potential.
The low-profit margin business model in Africa is not for every business either, he added. For example, Chinese low-end manufacturers may be content with a 5-10 percent thin profit margin if they migrate into Africa. But that will present less of a lure to high-end businesses from many Western countries, which often enjoy a margin level of up to 30 percent, Sautman said.
She noted that while Africa has unparalleled resources to generate low-carbon energy – solar, wind, hydro and geothermal power – two thirds of its population still has no access to grid electricity.
But analysts are skeptical the group – with widely diverse interests on the continent – can put words into action without a clear plan.
Overall, Caroline Kende-Robb, executive director of African Progress Panel, found the progress at this year’s G-20 meetings to address Africa’s urgent needs “disappointing.”
“We have 10 times more direct investment in the European Union than we have in the whole of Africa,” Chancellor Angela Merkel told leaders at the G20 summit. So could African countries benefit from the G20 meeting?
Robert Kappel, a researcher at the Global Institute of Global and Area Studies (GIGA), said that the G20 summit is very disappointing. The summit has not tackled the problems of sustainable development, it has no ideas on how to solve the refugee crisis in Africa, it has no ideas of moderating the problems of the climate change and it has no ideas on how to support Africa’s structural transformation. All the measures taken at the G20 summit were just oriented towards the development of the G20 nations, the OECD countries and some other countries. For example, they talk about more growth because the growth rates in European countries, in OECD countries are very sluggish. They try to boost growth by organizing more cheap money for the investors – but cheap money without any interest rates for European countries is against investors in Africa who have to pay much higher interest rates to organize their industrial development. And there are many, many other topicsvwhich are not in favor of Africa.
Source: Per Second News