AFRICANS in the diaspora should invest in their respective home countries and be part of transforming Africa, Vice President Inonge Wina has advised.
And Mrs Wina said Africa needed to address pertinent issues such as infrastructure, human capital development and good governance to leverage its strengths and benefit from its engagement with the rest of the world to unlock its latent potential.
Mrs Wina said this when she officiated at the 3rd Annual Africa Summit where she was invited by the London School of Economics (LSE) to deliver a keynote opening address under the theme: “Africa within a global context: Thinking beyond investments” on Saturday.
She said Africans in the diaspora needed to make a difference and invest in Africa.
“I must use this forum to call upon our brothers and sisters in the diaspora to invest back in their respective home countries and be part of the transformation. Evidence has shown that in some countries, remittances from the diaspora far exceed aid received. This shows the strength within us, as a people.
‘‘It is home-grown investments by Africans across the borders such as Dangote Group that will bring sustainable socio-economic development. I wish to reiterate my call to Africans in the diaspora to make a difference and invest in Africa,” Mrs Wina said.
This is according to Zambia’s first secretary for Press and Public Relations at the Zambian High Commission in London, Abigail Chaponda.
Mrs Wina said it was the home-grown investment solutions that would deliver sustainable development for all in Africa.
She said Africans needed to start looking inward for home-grown investment solutions to support diversification of economies and move away from dependence on one or two commodities exported as raw materials especially in the face of volatility in commodity prices. The Vice President said African governments were committed to providing an enabling environment and mutual benefit for the investors and local people to invest.
And Mrs Wina said Africa continued to face the challenge of inadequate infrastructure to support economic and social development initiatives.
She said that lack of proper infrastructure added to the cost of doing business in Africa and made African products uncompetitive on the global market. Mrs Wina said there was need for concerted efforts to mobilise resources for pan-African and regional infrastructure projects in Africa.
“In order to enhance the competitiveness of African products, there is need to reduce the cost of doing business which is relatively high compared to the developed world. This is due to a number of factors such as bureaucratic licensing and regulatory formalities, poor infrastructure, logistics and high cost of ICT.
Mrs Wina urged scholars and researchers at the London School of Economics to come up with solutions that would deliver inclusive economic growth and development. She appealed to the investors and businesses operating in Africa to be responsible corporate citizens by being part of the transformation to uplift the living standards of the people in their areas of operation with particular focus on women and the youth.
“Africa remains a shining star even in an uncertain global economic environment because of the vast natural resources that the continent is endowed with. The challenge I wish to throw to you – scholars, academicians and researchers – is to come up with economic development models that will ensure that Africa’s natural resources are exploited in a manner that benefits Africans,” she said.