How Africa can grow, by ADB chief
African Development Bankâ€™s Vice President (Infrastructure, Private Sector and Regional Integration) Solomon Asamoah has urged African governments to develop stronger business environments for companies to flourish.
He said it would involve putting in place consistent policies, increasing capacity and incentives for the government workforce.
He spoke in a keynote address at the Initiative for Global Developmentâ€™s Frontier 100 Forum held in Washington, DC, with the theme: â€œAfrican Business in the world-class spaceâ€.
Asamoah added that African states must renovate airports and ensure there is transparency in the decision-making process to address corruption.
â€œWe need more transparency in government decisions. Corruption happens in darkness. Shining a light on it can help end the problem,â€ he said.
Speakers, including global business leaders, examined opportunities and challenges that African companies face in reaching the world-class space.
They offered business strategies to successfully operate in the global marketplace.
IGD President/ CEO Dr. Mima Nedelcovych said African businesses create more than 80 per cent of jobs in their countries.
â€œToday, Africaâ€™s private sector is poised to become a major force for growth on the continent,â€ he said.
Chief Strategist for Dangote Group Abdu Mukhtar said his company routinely faces transportation and logistical bottlenecks in transporting goods by road throughout Africa.
He said the Dangote Group is addressing transportation challenges by importing its vehicles and reaching out to governments on improving infrastructure and regulations to ease the flow of travel between countries.
Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of AllAfrica Global Media Inc Amadou Ba called for greater media engagement from business leaders on changing Africaâ€™s narrative.
An international marketing expert Rahel Getachew added that how companies market their products from the product quality to user engagement also informs and influences the narrative.
Ambassador Mathilde Mukantabana of Rwanda said in the late 90s, the landlocked country invested heavily in technology to attract private sector investments, which has led to greater economic development.
A former Chairman and President of African Export-Import Bank, Jean-Louis Ekra, said Corporate Social Responsibility (CRS) should not be viewed as â€œsomething that businesses have to doâ€, but â€œsomething that they want to doâ€.
For Ekra, this means encouraging businesses to take part in building local capacity and instituting environmentally-friendly policies.
Deputy Director of the Niger Delta Partnership Initiative (NDPI) Foundation, established by Chevron Corporation, Heather Kulp, urged companies to adopt a â€œshared valueâ€ approach, where businesses build partnerships that leverage regional knowledge and address the root causes of social challenges.
The biannual event brings together chief executive officers and senior executives from IGDâ€™s Frontier Leaders Network of U.S., as well as African, European and South Asian companies.
More than half of IGD Frontier Leaders hail from Africa.
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