Singapore’s senior minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam believes Africa has great potential to rule economic affairs in the global space.
Accordingly, he affirms Africa’s potential to become the world’s next economic hub, if countries employ right policies and connections. He made the statements at the Kofi Annan Eminent Speakers’ Lecture series in Abidjan.
Strategies to unearth Africa as world’s next economic hub
The minister further provided strategies which is key to Africa’s change agenda and attempts to harness integrated growth. He identifies the following drivers as important for Africa to take its place as the world’s next economic hub.
- Firstly, Africa must spread its economic openness by strongly showcasing specialisation along the production value chain and invest more boldly in social foundations.
- Secondly, the continent must maximise policy coherence and effectiveness. This involves thinking in the long-term and maximise the benefits of global financial system
- In order to build economic resilience and create job opportunities for their bulging youth population. There must be stronger connectivity and economic interaction among developing regions. This is especially so between Africa and Asia which share demographic similarities.
- African leaders must prepare to take advantage of the strong bulging workforce and the high mobile technology penetration to drive innovation for growth. It is projected that in the next decade, Africa will have the largest working age population in the world. Population will be larger than China and India with about 1.1-billion people of working age population of between 15 and 64 years.
- There are huge opportunities with the challenges that confronts the African continent. African leaders must pursue investor confidence and interest. This will create more bilateral investment treaties which offers assurance to individual investors
He further noted that there is a significant interest by Singapore businesses in Africa which needs to be scaled up. “We are in an unusual time globally – a time of unusual challenge where some of the basic beliefs of how the world prospect together are being challenged. But it’s also a time of immense opportunities… in the international economy, in international finance and in international cooperation,” the minister said.
He also mentioned that Singapore is the eighth largest foreign investor in Africa. It invested around $90bn in the continent in 2018.