Dangote decries low investment flow to Africa
Tribune.com.ng - Feb 4th 2014, 09:21
President and Chief Executive of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, has decried the negative perception of socio-political situation in African countries, saying it was responsible for the low level of inflow of investment into the continent. He said recently at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
Speaking during a live telecast of a business platform, “Africa’s Next Billion” alongside other leaders including Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan and Ghana’s John Mahama, Dangote stated that the wrong perception of the security and political situation in Africa had made investors, especially from the West, lose sight of the potentials in the continent.
According to him, the African countries had also done little or nothing to remedy the ugly situation. Explaining that the situation in Africa was not as bad as being painted, the business mogul said corporate investors didn’t check what Africa was truly about, but based their judgement and perception on what they read in newspapers, which has not always being positive.
“For instance foreign investors wait for election to be concluded, after then, they tried to check the stability of government of the day for at least two years, but then, it is more difficult to take any decision because the tenure of the government is coming to an end and by so doing, foreign investors are scared of incoming and the cycle keeps going on.
“But then, I do not think there is anything to be afraid of because no government is against business, every government is pro-business. Most business risk is perceived- not actual risk”, he stated.
Dangote lamented that Africa was not good at telling its own stories saying, “people often relied on stories they heard from others to make their decision, “most times those stories are not true. People always underestimate Africa.”
He therefore advised that Africa of 2050 should be a united Africa, one common market, with free movement of goods and people all across.
“As at today, an American has more access to Africa than myself, taking visa issues into consideration. I would require 38 visas to visit 38 African countries outside of ECOWAS.
“The government needs to make a policy where we do not supply/export raw materials out alone, we want to be involved. We want those factories to be set up and produce here, run it for us for about four -five years, then we can take over production ourselves.
“Majority of our raw materials have been exported, processed abroad and brought back with at-least 10 per cent higher than the original cost.
“Entrepreneurship entails being able to take calculated risk, strong business stamina and a large appetite for work and success. We have what it takes in Africa for people to do business and succeed. I believe in Africa’s setting for entrepreneurship, if you take the risk, the market is there.
“In Nigeria, we have one of the most attractive investment policies through framework that the government has put in place to help businesses succeed. “If I dreamt five years ago that I would invest in agriculture, I would write it off as bad dream or nightmare, but today, we’re investing $2.3 billion in agriculture, $2 billion in sugar, and $300 million in rice.
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