The Vice President of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, has stated that business to business spending within African will reach $3.5 trillion by 2025, noting that “African economy are performing better than the global average.”
Osinbajo disclosed this while declaring open policy and private sector trade and investment forum with the theme, “Facilitating Trade and Investment for Development” co-hosted by Nigeria and the ECOWAS Commission in partnership with the WTO Friends of Investment Facilitation For Development (FIDA) in Abuja.
The Vice President stated that “we are in a time of critical challenges and in a time of huge opportunities, our population will equal the population of India and China together by 2050, by same year we will have the youngest population in the world, climate change has great impact on Africa than elsewhere and security challengies stubbornly remain in many of our states.”
“Yet, consumer’s spending is projected to reach $1.4trillion in the next few years and business to business spending to reach $3.5 trillion in the next 8 years. Africa economy are doing better than ever before despite the difficult global economic environment, GDP growth rate with average 2.2 percent in 2015 is estimated to rise to 3.4 per cent this year and to 4.3 per cent in 2018 all above global average,” he stated.
Osibajjo said “last year, 12 African countries grew above five per cent and 20 countries grew at between three and five per cent. And in order to demonstrate the point that resource dependent is no longer the formula for growth but trade and investment, most of the best performing countries are non-oil or non commodity dependent economy, Ethopian grew at 8, Tanzania 7.2, Rwanda and Kenya at about 6 percent respectively” noting that other African countries grew even at higher rates.
He said, “the space and commitment to transform our economy is worthy of note, African economy accounted for 30 percent of global all improvement in business and regulatory reforms in 2016.”
“About two days ago, the World Bank announced that Nigeria, African largest economy, has moved up 24 places in the World Bank ranking and was declared one of the top 10 performing economy in the world” adding that, “the World Bank ease of doing business report 2017 shows that 34 out of 48 countries in Sub-Sahara and Africa had at least one business regulatory reform in the previous years” stated the Vice President.
He however noted that trade facilitation without investment is inadequate, explaining further that the African region lacked the capacity to independently bring about the infrastructure necessary for investment.
Osinbajo therefore called on the World Bank and other foreign financial agencies to assist the region in the development of infrastructure needed for improved investment.
Also speaking, the President, ECOWAS Commission, Marcel Alain De Souza, noted that trade facilitation is enabling free movement of goods, people and services among ECOWAS member countries.
“ECOWAS is saying what we are doing is to facilitate investment to Africa to create jobs for our youth,” stating that the Commission is working on a single currency for member states.
On his par Albert Muchango, Commissioner for Trade and Industry, African Union said “trade facilitation is what Africa needs in boosting the GDP of the continent and also create jobs,” noting that, “with trade facilitation on ground, it will ensure free flow of goods and services among African countries,” he stated.