Better governance is needed to help Africa tap its huge potential and manage the challenges it is faced with, including the urban-rural divide and continued war and conflict, participants told a Friends of Europe conference on 6 June.
“It is time for our leaders to stop just talking,” said Kanayo F. Nwanze, President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (2009-2017) and Member of the Global Agenda Council on Food Security of the World Economic Forum. “What we need is action. We need dedicated political leaders who are there to serve the people, not to exploit them. They should be dedicated to the welfare of the people they are supposed to lead.”
He was speaking at the Africa Summit on the challenges for ensuring resilient, inclusive and sustainable growth. The continent contains seven of the ten fastest-growing economies in the world, and more than half of Africans are expected to live in cities by 2050. But Africa is also home to over two-thirds of the world’s least-developed countries (LDCs) and half of fragile and conflict-affected States (FCS). To ensure a more prosperous future for millions of Africans, it is essential to break the vicious circle of poverty and conflict.
“We want to create incentives for peace and stability, but we know that conflict drives investors away,” said Neil Gregory, Head of Thought Leadership at the International Finance Corporation (IFC). “We really want to understand better how we can help businesses grow in difficult environments. We have to reduce the level of risk for investors who have little understanding or knowledge of these markets.”
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