The Minister of Trade and Industry Rob Davies ventured to Japan this week to woe investment with a particular focus on South Africa’s infrastructure development programme.
Speaking at the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Mainichi Forum that was held in Tokyo, Davies said Africa offers the most attractive growth opportunities in the world.
Davies said the average growth of the African continent was estimated to be 5.8 percent and that this was in contrast with the European Union which has gone into recession and the United States which is constrained by the low level of economic growth. “In fact, after Asia the African continent is increasingly widely recognised as the next growth frontier and dynamic business people can no longer afford not be involved in it. Six of the ten fastest growing economies today are located in the African continent”.
He added that African growth was largely based on sound financial institutions and the willingness to engage politically.
“There has been significant and sustained growth across the continent driven in part by the boom in mineral commodities but also by growth in retail, agriculture, transport and telecommunication. We do not have governments in Africa that are struggling with huge debt crises because of the recession. Lastly, we have resolved a number of political crises and we have better economic governance on the African continent” he added.
However, Davies stated that Africa’s sustainable growth and development would always remain a dream unless the challenges of inadequate infrastructure, small and fragmented markets, and inadequate diversification of industrial output, were addressed. He said the answer lies in promoting a developmental regional integration agenda and industrialisation.