Intra-African trade is currently less than 15%, and we are doing more with Europe than we are doing within ourselves.
If we remove those barriers, then we have a real opportunity of industrialising Africa. By 2050, Africa will still have the most investment opportunities in the world because we are rich in resources. A lot of our investments are in that area, and this is where we can leverage partnerships in Africa.
We are not restricting ourselves to the four corners of the lecture room; we are embedding technology in everything that we do. The fact that you can take classes from work or home is evidence of that. Government intervention is also essential in making life much easier for education providers. An enabling environment will enable educators to provide quality education for the human resource base that they want to train. Short courses for employees in tech industries are provided much to the delight of employers. It is up to those employees to make themselves available for classes or risk being redundant. We must ensure that we can educate our workforce by introducing them to continuous training and allowing them to attend short courses.
6 of the 10 fastest growing economies in the world are now in Africa: Rwanda (8.7%), Cote d’Ivoire (7.4%), Ethiopia (7.4%), Ghana (7.1%), Tanzania (6.8%) and Benin (6.7%).
Some regions are growing faster than others. East Africa is the fastest growing region with growth rate of 5% in 2019, followed by North Africa (4.1%), West Africa (3.7%), Central Africa (3.2%) and Southern Africa (0.7%).
For the first time in more than one decade, growth in Africa is due largely to expansion of investments rather than consumption, as well as from exports.
There has been much hype about a major Africa investment summit being hosted by the UK. Attended by Prime Minister Boris Johnson and an array of royals, a great deal of hopeful win-win-win rhetoric abounded linked to forging new partnerships for a post-Brexit future.
At the summit, Ghana, it seems, is being given top treatment as a favoured destination, while Zimbabwe appears to have been snubbed despite being “open for business”.
UK aid policy these days is focused on promoting UK trade interests abroad, with the government adopting a global business promotion approach for UK firms.