Zambia’s Vice President Mrs. Inonge Wina has called upon all Africans in the Diaspora to invest back in their respective home countries and be part of transforming Africa.
And the Vice President said Africa needs to address pertinent issues like infrastructure, human capital development and good governance to leverage its strengths and benefit from its engagement with the rest of the world, and unlock its latent potential.
Officiating at the at the 3rd Annual Africa Summit where she was invited by the London School of Economics (LSE) to deliver a keynote opening address under the theme: “Africa within a Global Context: Thinking Beyond Investments” on Saturday, the Vice-President said Africans in the diaspora needed to make a difference and invest in Africa.
“I must use this forum to call upon our brothers and sisters in the diaspora to invest back in their respective home countries and be part of the transformation. Evidence has shown that in some countries, remittances from the dispora far exceed aid received, and that shows you the strength that lies within us as a people. It is home grown investments by Africans across African borders such as Dangote group that will bring sustainable socio-economic development, I wish to reiterate my call to Africans in the diaspora to make a difference and invest in Africa, she said.
She said it was the home grown investment solutions that would deliver sustainable development for all.
Mrs Wina said Africans needed to start looking inward for home grown investment solutions to support diversification of its economies and move away from dependence on one or two commodities exported as raw materials especially in the face of volatility in commodity prices.
The Vice President said African Governments, were committed to providing an enabling environment and mutual benefit for the investors and local people to invest.
And she said Africa continued to face the challenge of inadequate infrastructure to support economic and social development initiatives.
Mrs Wina said that lack of proper infrastructure added to the cost of doing business in Africa, made African products uncompetitive on the global market adding that there is need for concerted efforts to mobilise resources for pan-African and regional infrastructure projects in Africa.
“In order to enhance the competitiveness of African products, there is need to reduce the cost of doing business, which is relatively high compared to the developed world due to a number of factors such as bureaucratic licensing and regulatory formalities, poor infrastructure and logistics and high cost of ICT. There is also need to address issues of non-tariff barriers and market restrictions that African exports are subjected,” she said.
She called upon scholars and researchers at the London School of Economics to come up with solutions that will deliver inclusive economic growth and development and appealed to the investors and businesses operating in Africa to be responsible corporate citizens and be a part of the transformation to uplift the living standards of the people in their areas of operation with particular focus on women and the youth.
“Africa remains a shining star even in an uncertain global economic environment because of the vast natural resources that the continent is endowed with. The challenge I wish to throw to you; scholars, academicians and researchers is to come with economic development models that will ensure that African natural resources are exploited in manner that benefits Africans,” she said.