Growing domestic investment and in promoting inter-African trade are the keys to fighting poverty in Africa. This is the view of Seyi Bickersteth, national senior partner, KPMG Nigeria. He made this known in a paper entitled ‘Nine Mega-Trends Shaping the Future of Africa.’ He also maintained that African countries can effectively reduce poverty through sustained economic growth and development and effective governance.
He stated that notwithstanding the huge benefits of foreign direct investments (FDI), African countries must make efforts to pursue increased domestic investments, which can contribute more to its economic development.
“The reality is that effective governance is integral to sustainable economic development. For instance, the best way to reduce poverty is through continued economic development, where successful development and economic growth is dependent on a functioning and responsible government that wants to implement change for the benefit of its people,” he said.
He explained that while Africa is enjoying a continuous flow of foreign direct investment (FDI), it needs to be noted that it is domestic investment that fuels national economies, and increasing inter-African trade will make Africa more globally competitive.
Bickersteth also decried absence of the political will to bring down barriers hindering economic integration in the African. “Unfortunately, achieving true unity remains a challenge as Africa is made up of 55 very different countries – and all at different levels of liberation,” he said.
He, however, noted that governance is progressing and, although it will take more time to navigate through all the complexities, leaders of Africa should not forsake any movement towards achieving the African Dream of pan-Africanism. “Today, seven of the 10 fastest-growing economies in the world are in Africa and the continent is increasingly moving more into the global limelight as a promising investment destination – despite preconceived risks of investing in turbulent times. A significant amount of the growth that is being experienced and enjoyed in key markets across Africa is as a direct result of governments being able to successfully implement far-reaching economic and political reforms, thus creating more conducive business and investment climates,” he said.