Over the last several days the 2013 World Economic Forum on Africa has involved highly interesting and captivating talk concerning what exactly is going on in Africa. The event invited leaders from across the continent to consolidate and make more inclusive recent African growth.
A valid point that was emphasised throughout the forum was that for Africa, this is just the beginning. People from around the world are only JUST starting to realise the potential that lies within Africa. The Young Global Shapers are the people who will ultimately assist in the long-term development and enhancement of Africa.
Negativity like what we have seen or been exposed to in the past is no longer the case for Africa. The African lions are growing even faster than the Asian tigers. One of the main concerns depicted throughout the forum was that of investment. If Africa’s growth is not invested in human capital and diversifying economies, Africa will lose out on the opportunity for real sustainability. At the moment Growth is not being re-invested in development, and that Africa needs to offer better enabling environments for industrialization in order to capitalize on opportunities.
An additional goal as to why the forum was initiated is to call on leaders to take advantage of the continent’s “youth bulge” by nurturing educational systems that promote “job-ready” skills and include women. Employing African woman in the workforce should also be a priority as they are the third emerging market.
Real growth is not only about GDP. Competitiveness, greater regional integration and investments in social entrepreneurship and industry to promote inclusive growth and fight poverty are other factors to consider if long-term growth in Africa wants to be achieved.