Africa: why stability is requirement to attract investment, economic growth – SGF

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Sen. George Akume, says Africa requires political stability to attract foreign direct investment to achieve sustainable economic growth and development.

Akume said this while delivering the graduation lecture for participants of the National Defence College (NDC) Course 31, on Monday in Abuja.

The lecture, which has the theme “Economic Growth and Regional Development: Strategic Options for Africa”, is part of activities lined up by the college for the graduation of its Course 31 participants.

Represented by the Permanent Secretary, Special Services, OSGF, Alhaji Aliyu Shinkafi, he said that the African region and Nigeria, in particular, must do everything possible to ensure political and economic stability.

This, he noted, would help to gain the confidence of investors in sustainable regional development.

He identified income inequality, environmental impact, resource allocation, and vulnerability to global economic and political instability as major challenges to economic growth at national levels.

The SGF, however, said that opportunities abound for sustainable economic development on the continent, such as abundant natural resources, agricultural potential, a growing consumer market, a youthful population, renewable energy potential, as well as technology and innovation.

According to him, diversification of economies, infrastructural development, human capital investment, sustainable agriculture and agribusiness, inclusive policies, and access to capital are strategies that can guarantee economic growth in Africa.

“By capitalizing on sectors of comparative advantage, investing in infrastructure, and promoting innovation and technology, African nations can spur economic diversification and lay the foundation for inclusive growth.

“The interconnectedness of regional economies calls for collaborative efforts that transcend borders, fostering cross-border trade, investments, and knowledge sharing.

“Strengthening regional institutions and frameworks will facilitate coordinated policy actions, promote stability, and create an environment conducive to attract both domestic and foreign investments.

Akume also said that education and skills development stood as cornerstones for Africa’s success story.

“Empowering the continent’s youth with relevant knowledge and skills will drive entrepreneurship, create jobs, and nurture a workforce that can contribute to global value chains, enhancing competitiveness and sustainable development.

“A commitment to good governance, transparency, and the rule of law is imperative to build investor confidence, ensure effective resource management, and mitigate risks associated with corruption and political instability.

“Simultaneously, addressing social inequalities and promoting social safety nets will cultivate an environment of social cohesion, enhancing the overall resilience of African societies,” he added.

The Commandant, National Defence College (NDC), Rear Adm. Olumuyiwa Olotu, said in his remarks that the topic of the graduation lecture was informed by the fact that the African continent had continued to experience a slow pace of economic development.

This, Olotu said, was at a time when the rest of the world was developing in geometric proportion.

He added that the recent world economic outlook showed that African countries were only found at numbers 32, 39, and 40, occupied by Nigeria, South Africa, and Egypt, on the list of the 40 fastest-growing economies in the world.

This, according to him, is a clear indication that African countries still have a long way to go in growing their economies in order to impact positively on the overall development of the continent.

“A closer look at Africa indicates that the continent has to rest on endemic poverty, low technology capacity, overdependence on imports, and minimum value change for natural resources, amongst others.

“These have made Africa jump around for all types of inferior-quality goods and services,” he said.

Olotu noted that the African situation was further compounded by political instability, insurgency, and other security challenges, as well as the proliferation of small arms and light weapons.

These, he said, have impacted negatively on economic growth and regional development on the continent, adding that African leaders could develop and implement viable strategies that would enhance economic growth and development on the continent.

He urged participants to pay attention to the lecture and thereafter evaluate how their services and organisations could better contribute to society, particularly on the issues surrounding economic growth and regional development.

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