Pravin Gordhan highlights cash leakage problem at WEF on Africa

2013-05-11 09:18

African leaders need to make a lot more noise about the leakage of money from the continent, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan told the World Economic Forum on Africa in Cape Town.

Plugging the leaks was one of the key ways of keeping Africa’s growth steady, he said yesterday during an discussion with other finance ministers.

“It will mean that we will have enough resources on this continent, and we have a lot of investable capital,” Gordhan said.

African countries were growing at good rates, but growth alone would not lead to prosperity.

“What Africa has an opportunity to do is not just keep the GDP numbers going between five and nine percent. It’s about the quality of that GDP growth,” Gordhan said.

While foreign direct investment (FDI) numbers looked good, diversification was needed to increase trade numbers.

“If we want to increase intra-African trade each of us has to produce something that is tradeable, which other countries want... .Where are our comparative advantages?... Are we able to produce the right type of quality and quantity at the right price?”

One of the major problems was producing a new growth model that was more inclusive, especially of the jobless and poor.

Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala agreed, saying while Europe remained a big trading partner, countries in Africa needed to create export opportunities between themselves.

She said the economic growth Africa was experiencing needed to reach more people on the continent.

“How do we keep growth and step it up a bit more? How do we make sure people are not left out, that we are not left with growing inequality?”

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