Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina, President, African Development Bank (AfDB), on Saturday, said Africa will potentially become the biggest economic hub on the globe with the right policies and investments.
Adesina, who recently addressed the London Stock Exchange, spoke at the Inspiration Conference 2020 of the Redeemer’s Men Fellowship (Lagos Regions) in Lagos.
“Last year, 17 countries grew an average of five percent, 20 countries grew at five per cent and above.
“Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Africa last year grew by more than 11 per cent while that of Asia was about 4. 5 per cent and FDI for developed countries declined by 23 per cent”, NAN quoted him as saying.
Adesina said the population of Africa was at 1.2 billion in 2019, which could be harnessed properly to achieve geometric growth for economic development.
“Nearly 90 per cent of Africa-based companies and 58 per cent of those based in other regions expect their revenues in Africa to grow over the next five years, and most importantly to expand their African footprints in additional countries.
“This is the continent you are living in. The size of consumer businesses will rise $5.6 trillion in the next five years.
“The size of the food and agricultural market in Africa will rise to $1trillion just in the next ten years.
“Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is worth a whopping $3.6 trillion. That is the largest Free Trade Zone in the world since the creation of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). Welcome to the new Africa,” he said.
Adesina said the opportunities available in Africa were responsible for the surge in summits such as UK-Africa summit, Japan-Africa Summit, Russia-Africa summit, China-Africa summit to mention a few.
“They are seeing an Africa that will soon become the size of China and India combined.
“When China woke up, the world changed. When Africa finally wakes up, it will be the biggest economic miracle we have ever seen,” he said.
He said the AfDB had been supporting the growth of African countries, disclosing that a $500 million facility would soon be released to Nigeria for ICT and start up companies.
Adesina, however, urged President Muhammadu Buhari government to find solution to the issue of unemployment, noting that youths were the future of the nation’s prosperity.