Leaders develop action plan as Africa enters ‘buoyant period’

2010-11-22 13:17

African political and business leaders have called for the breaking down of trade barriers and a pan-African stock exchange to create “engines of investment” as the continent enters what could be the most “buoyant” period in its economic history.

The call was made in an action plan developed at the Mo Ibrahim Foundation’s yearly discussion forum in Port-Louis, Mauritius, according to a speech prepared for delivery today.

“We firmly believe in the vision of a vibrant and modern African continent,” Mauritian Prime Minister Navinchandra Ramgoolam said at the opening of the forum.

“Today, Africa is poised for what may be the most buoyant years in its recent economic history – provided we do what is necessary to make our economies perform better at national and regional levels.”

The action plan calls for African money to be made available to further integration, particularly in the case of infrastructure projects.

“Africa’s untapped wealth of natural resources was seen to be a key creator of wealth,” the foundation said in a statement.

“High commodity prices and growing demand will fuel unprecedented opportunities for exploiting these vast reserves. Pension funds can also be made use of provided they are invested across the continent.”

The foundation said: “A pan-African stock exchange was called for to create engines of investment and provide the private sector a means of realising their investments.”

The plan calls for leaders to “move beyond the rhetoric of breaking down barriers to trade and existing aid paradigms”.

“It is time to push our leaders to offer the visionary leadership needed to prioritise projects and create innovative financial instruments, such as infrastructure bonds, in order to implement programmes for greater integration,” the foundation said.

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