Africa has "unlimited" opportunities to turn into a global hub for industrialisation, Egypt's Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly said on Friday during the opening session of the African Investment Promotion Agencies (IPAs) Forum.
Madbouly said the whole world, especially emerging markets and developing economies, is reeling from the coronavirus pandemic's consequences, including the "unequal" distributions of the vaccines in favour of affluent countries.
The curbs imposed on travel, Madbouly underscored, is the second challenge to global trade's recovery, while the third challenge is the increasing inflation rates globally amid declining income due to low employment. The fourth challenge is trade disputes, he noted.
Madbouly asserted that the African countries have their own challenges, adding that "Although Africa is the second-largest continent in the world..., it is still the poorest among the world's continents.”
"Up to 70 percent of the world's poor live in Africa and this percentage is set to increase by 2030," the premier further said.
Madbuoly added that the multi-day forum, which is being held under the slogan “Integration for development”, aims at turning the challenges facing Africa into gifts.
Madbouly noted that over 60 percent of Africa's population is under the age of 25, and this figure can be turned into a "productive and consuming force."
Africa’s contribution, however, does not exceed 2 percent of the world's total economic output, or around $2.6 trillion out of the world's production value which is worth $131 trillion, he added.
He pointed out that the continent's exports of manufactured products do not exceed 20 percent of the world's total exports, indicating that the continent's reliance on primary commodities makes it less resilient in the face of economic shocks and global price fluctuations.
"Also, internal conflicts and terrorist operations undermine … any development efforts aimed at consolidating prosperity across the continent," the PM said.
Despite all of the aforementioned challenges, said Madbouly, "we have unlimited opportunities to localise manufacturing processes, and create African supply chains so that the continent will become the factory of the world in the future," he added.
Madbouly opened the IPAs Forum earlier today which is being held in the Red Sea resort city of Sharm El-Sheikh from 11 to 14 June.
Ministers and heads of investment authorities from 34 African countries as well as representatives of leading institutions and economic blocs are attending the event.
Dialogue for exchanging expertise
In addition to the PM's comment's, Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said the forum represents an all-out platform for investment officials in African countries, which will promote direct dialogue and exchanging expertise.
He said Africa is rich with diverse natural and human resources, which would help boost infrastructure in order to lure direct foreign investments.
Shoukry said Egypt has been exerting strenuous efforts to achieve the hoped-for development, reviewing the steps made by Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi over the past years to promote cooperation with African states and realize continental integration.
He added that El-Sisi launched the Aswan Forum for Sustainable Peace and Development to be a "favourable" forum for consultation on the challenges that hinder the promotion of investments in Africa.
Shoukry wished that the forum's outcomes would contribute to boosting investments in Africa.