Africa ripe with prospects – Motlanthe

2012-05-09 10:09

Structural changes in the global economy could position Africa as a significant player, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe has said.

“The demand for Africa’s natural resources, particularly from emerging economies in the south, offers renewed opportunities for Africa’s developmental prospects,” he said in a speech prepared for delivery at the Council on Foreign Relations in Berlin, Germany today.

Growing interest by traditional development partners as well as increased trade and investment from new emerging economies had given impetus to economic growth and development in Africa, Motlanthe said.

As such, Africa was often referred to as the “new investment frontier”.

Africa was the second fastest growing continent, after Asia, with enormous reserves of raw materials.

It had 60% of unused, arable agricultural land globally, a young and growing population, and a growing middle class with considerable purchasing power.

It also saw steady improvements in economic governance.

Motlanthe said these factors could result in Africa becoming the next leading source of global economic growth.

However, problems such as small and fragmented markets, inadequate diversification of industrial output, and low levels of intra-African trade and infrastructure, had to be tackled.

More attention also needed to be paid to multilateralism and market access for African products.

“There is, in our view, no way forward other than to move ahead with rebalancing the global trading system in favour of developing countries. This can only be achieved through multilateral processes and engagements,” he said.

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