AFRICA MUST LEVERAGE ITS RESOURCES TO GROW ECONOMIES, SAYS GHANA VP

Accra–Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has underlined the urgent need for African countries to leverage their enormous resources and investment opportunities to create jobs and lift the population out of poverty.

There were enough wealth and resources in the continent to aid its development and wean it off donor support.

Dependency on the international donors and financiers comes down to playing by their rules and committing to their terms, some of which may not be aligned to Africa’s development specific challenges.

Vice President Bawumia was addressing the 2018 African Sovereign Wealth Funds Summit in Accra.

Financing Africa’s transformation: the role of sovereign wealth funds, was the theme chosen for the meeting.

The event, organised by the Afrochampions Initiative brought together African Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWFs) managers, investors, government officials and captains of industries to discuss best strategies of leveraging their sovereign wealth funds to transform their economies and accelerate development.

SWFs are state-owned investment funds, invested in real and financial assets – stocks, bonds, real estates, precious metals, or in alternative investments including private equity fund or hedge funds.

They are mostly invested globally, and often revenues from commodity exports or from foreign exchange reserves held by the Central Bank.

The funds help countries to best manage and invest their oil wealth and commodity exports for the future generations.

According to the 2018 African Sovereign Wealth Funds Index, there is a total of seven trillion dollars’ worth of sovereign wealth funds globally, with 12 African countries having between them US$90 billion representing 1.4 per cent of the total global SWFs.

The Index ranked Nigeria, Rwanda and Ghana as countries best managed sovereign wealth funds in Africa.

The Vice President asked that premium was placed on generating more revenue domestically to strengthen the position of the countries when it came to selecting partners and negotiating on priority areas.

He reiterated the government’s unswerving determination to move Ghana beyond aid and said this was at the heart its economic planning strategy and thinking.

It was in line with this that it was deepening ties with sister African countries through trade and investment � to shift away from aid dependency.

He welcomed the Single African Trade Area Agreement signed by the 44 African nations in Rwanda and said it was a step in the right direction � it was going to boost intra-Africa trade and accelerate economic growth

The Vice President was emphatic that depending on aid was not sustainable in the long term.

Sooner or later, fatigue would set in, narrowing fiscal space for development.

He said for SWFs to contribute positively towards the economic transformation of the African economies, there was the need for domestic revenue mobilisation.

He urged investment in the human resource, saying, doing that was one of the best strategies to speed up economic growth � it was the path travelled by most of the developed nations.

That, he said, was not to discount the significant contribution physical infrastructure could equally make and added that the right balance and synergies was found.

He encouraged countries to enhance the savings and investment culture so that the SWFs could be used to develop their economies.

For the wealth fund to grow and to play a key role in transforming economies there got to be clear rules and patience.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK