News / Africa

Former Canadian PM Calls for Improved Africa Infrastructure

U.S. President Barack Obama, (C), Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper (R), and Mexico's President Felipe Calderon (L) walk out of the Oval Office before a joint press conference in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, April 2, 2012.U.S. President Barack Obama, (C), Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper (R), and Mexico's President Felipe Calderon (L) walk out of the Oval Office before a joint press conference in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, April 2, 2012.
x
U.S. President Barack Obama, (C), Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper (R), and Mexico's President Felipe Calderon (L) walk out of the Oval Office before a joint press conference in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, April 2, 2012.
U.S. President Barack Obama, (C), Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper (R), and Mexico's President Felipe Calderon (L) walk out of the Oval Office before a joint press conference in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, April 2, 2012.
Peter Clottey

This is Part Two of a six-part series on African Investment
Continue to Parts:     1 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6

Former Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien says African countries have the potential to attract massive foreign investment by significantly developing their infrastructure.

Mr. Chretien said improving access to natural resources could be a financial boost for the countries. He was a main speaker on the topic of maximizing growth Africa at the recently concluded New York Forum Africa, held in Gabon’s capital, Libreville.  The group brings together international investors and African business leaders in an effort to foster partnerships..

“They have to develop the proper infrastructure to get access to the resources, and they need to develop infrastructure like education for example to train people in the type of jobs to develop the resources,” said Chretien.

“With 800 million people, they need to better develop communication between them so that they can specialize and produce some products that would be used within the continent. Most of the economies have to be created really on the continent for the people on the continent.” 

Chretien also called for the improvement of Africa’s hospitals and universities, which he said will help stimulate job growth.

 “The future of Africa is bright in my judgment.”

The forum attracted over 600 business, financial and political leaders across Africa. Organizers say it provided a unique platform for Africa’s entrepreneurs and rising business leaders to find ways of resolving problems while engaging with executives and investors from around the world.

Topics addressed during the three-day forum included finding the right business models, spurring innovation and entrepreneurship and improving security and governance.

Chretien said Africans could improve investment with enhanced cooperation in the area of trade and technological advancement.

He noted that some investors complain that Africa’s underdeveloped road network makes it difficult to cross borders and to go from one side of the continent to other.    
  
The former Canadian prime minister said improved transport relies on  inter-African coordination.

“Some time ago they tried to have a federation of Africa [and] perhaps the time has come to look at that. You know to have a central government to run some things that are common, like we have in Canada...You can have unity in diversity.”

Chretien called on African governments to remove what he described as destructive bureaucracies, which he said inhibit international investments. He also called for hard work, which he called the best solution to resolving challenges the continent faces.

He also emphasized the importance of keeping, and promoting, government workers based on education and performance, not personal connections or patronage.

“You need [administrative] stability. You don’t kick out everybody because you change the government. You need people to stay there because they are good at their jobs, whoever is the leader,” said Chretien.
Clottey interview with Former Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien
Clottey interview with Former Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretieni
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X

You May Like

UN Ambassador Power Highlights Plight of Women Prisoners

She launches the 'Free the 20' campaign, aimed at profiling women being deprived of their freedom around the world More

Satellite Launch Sparks Spectacular Light Show

A slight delay in a satellite launch lit up the Florida sky early this morning More

Fleeing IS Killings in Syria, Family Reaches Bavaria

Exhausted, scared and under-nourished, Khalil and Maha's tale mirrors those of thousands of refugees from war-torn countries who have left their homes in the hopes of finding a better life More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: almoros idriss
July 10, 2012 8:26 AM
Thank you the former Canadian prime minister Jean Chretien, USA's president Obama and Mexico's president Felipe Galderon and God bless all of you and your nations!
Yes, sustainable infrastructure, healthcare and education a head before real demogracey and great developments in the richest continent Africa!!!

by: Marimba
June 26, 2012 12:11 AM
The statement "The future of Africa is bright" needs clarification with regard to the loss of lives in Zimbabwe from 1983, 2008 and the land seizures, coupled with the death of farmers and employees, not to mention the economy and other sectors. Please Mr Chretien research the facts on Africa or visit the Country and speak to the people, to hear their story.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs