Cape Town – What matters is not what politicians say about Africa, but what investors say as they make the economic decisions, warned mining magnate Patrice Motsepe on Thursday.
Motsepe, founder and executive chair of African Rainbow Minerals, raised the three important points of competitiveness, corruption and xenophobia at the World Economic Forum on Africa (WEF Africa) in Cape Town.
Motsepe, who is also one of the co-chairs of the WEF Africa taking place in Cape Town this week, said Africa as well as the rest of the world is going through challenging times.
“In Africa the price of commodities has made an impact and therefore it has become critical for the continent to remain globally competitive to attract local and international investment,” said Motsepe.
“We assume good things will continue, but that is not correct. When successful economic conditions end, an economy can stall or even go backwards.”
Motsepe pointed out the importance of addressing growing perceptions of corruption in Africa. Turning to xenophobia, he said: “We in Africa must allow all Africans to do well, and show tolerance and be accommodating to all.
“We as business people must comment on issues in Africa. These issues can range from leaders wanting to extend their term of office, freedom of speech and prudent and responsible macro- and micro-economic policies."
It is not to say that mining and commodities will not play an important part in Africa’s future growth, but rather that the emphasis should be on beneficiation and diversification.
“You have to make it attractive for the private sector to invest in Africa. It must make commercial sense. It can be done in partnerships, though,” said Motsepe.