News / Africa

Experts Cautiously Optimistic about Africa Economy

Kelly J. Kelly
“Trade, not aid” was the theme for panelists discussing Africa’s growing economy at the Congressional Black Caucus’ Brain Trust meeting in Washington, DC recently.

Although speakers were mostly positive about what’s happening on the continent – including Botswana’s seven percent growth rate – Jay Ireland, the President and CEO for the Africa division of the multi-national giant General Electric (GE), introduced a note of caution into the discussion.

“Africa is rising. What I worry about is Africa getting choked,” Ireland said.

Ireland - who’s based in Nairobi, Kenya - said one of the biggest things Africa needs right now to maintain its economic momentum is basic education. 
 
“We, the private sector, can take graduates from universities, or high schools, and train them into being technicians, engineers, leaders,” Ireland said. “But we can’t do that if we can’t get a good base of education provided to us by the governments themselves.”
Ireland added that ongoing financial investments are also critical.

But some in the audience questioned where those investments should come from. Akira Chiba, a Japanese diplomat who used to represent his government in South Sudan said, “When I was in South Sudan, I noticed a tremendous presence of Chinese nationals there—together, sadly, with a certain amount of unfriendliness toward them, to use a diplomatic terminology. So my question is what role do you expect China to play for further development of Africa?”

The World Bank’s Vice President for Africa, Makhtar Diop, was quick to answer.
“The needs are huge in Africa, and we cannot have the luxury as Africans to be picky about who should be coming and investing in Africa, be it the private sector, be it the World Bank, be it the IFC, be it China, be it the EU, be it the US. We need everybody to come and invest in Africa,” Diop said.

The day ended as it had begun, on a positive note. Africa was not only rising, panelists agreed, but finally getting the world’s attention as a place to come, do business, and make money.


Listen to report on CBC Brain Trust Meeting on Africa's Economy
Listen to report on CBC Brain Trust Meeting on Africa's Economyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X

You May Like

Sunni-Shi’ite Divide Threatens Middle East Stability

Analysts say ancient dispute that traces back to Islamic Revolution is fueling modern day unrest More

Shifting Demographics Lie Beneath Racial Tensions in Ferguson

As Missouri suburb morphed from majority white to majority black, observers say power structure remained static More

Video Artists Shun Russia's Profanity Law

Restriction is toughest since Soviet era, though critics reject move as patronizing and ineffective act of censorship in line with a string of conservative morality laws More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: The Big Picture
September 27, 2012 10:16 PM
Somehow the Zimbabwean situation is discreetly avoided and not commented upon, given all that has happened there. Doing business and making money is what it really is, but "The Fear is a Reality".

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid