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African Development Bank President Kaberuka emphasizes the role of GVCs for Africa’s growth


African Development Bank President Kaberuka emphasizes the role of GVCs for Africa’s growth

The president of the African Development Bank, Donald Kaberuka, has expressed great optimism over Africa’s growth indicating that a full absorption of the continent into the global value chains is needed for job creation and transformation. The Bank’s president made the comment at an event held at the Graduate Institute of International andDevelopment Studies in Geneva on the topic “Africa in the new Millennium: Development Prospects and Challenges” on 20th March 2014.

This was subsequent to a three day Africa CEO Forum held in Geneva which saw the attendance of 800 CEOs of local and foreign companies operating in the continent. Recounting Africa’s growth over the past decade “…from a continent that was only known to worth additional aid to a one of 800 CEOs” Dr. Kaberuka  believes they could be no better signs of growth.

He pointed out that Africa’s growth is attributable to “painful economic and political reforms undertaken in the 1990s” as well as external factors such as the emergence of the “new growth poles” in the global economy including India and China and the IT revolution which, he said, “reduces the cost of doing every business in the continent”. Citing various examples, he believes that the current landscape of the global value chain vis-à-vis outsourcing presents opportunities for job creation in the continent for future transformation.

He said natural resources, for example, which have previously been used to “buy arms” and promote conflicts is now used “to build the foundation of a future modern economy” and this has the capacity to close the infrastructure gap in the continent if investment in the infrastructure sector can be “de-risked” enough.

Africa’s trade prospects and economic notoriety took to the news in the millennium and many experts believe that the continent’s prominence in the global economy could soar higher frontiers with a good mix of economic, political and social policies. Current attention is growing in the role of the private sector in Africa and significance of international trade is emphasized across the region which has culminated into signing of numerous Free Trade Agreements. Experts believe the region is set for higher trajectories in the near future.


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