A New Economic Vision for Africa: Today’s Investment & Tomorrow’s Growth
Key takeaways from the recent Foreign Policy investment roundtable, featuring President of the African Development Bank Akinwumi Adesina.
Africa’s burgeoning consumer market, young workforce, and vast natural resources position the continent for robust economic growth, promising big returns on investment, said Akinwumi Adesina, the president of the African Development Bank (AfDB), at a recent Foreign Policy roundtable in New York City. In a wide-ranging conversation on Africa’s growth potential, Adesina emphasized the untapped economic potential on the continent.
“Don’t look at this continent from the perspective of development,” he said to a select group of investors, executives, and experts on emerging markets and international development. “Look at this continent from the perspective of investment.”
Addressing the room during his opening remarks, Adesina called himself an “eternal optimist” about Africa’s prospects and reminded attendees that Africa is not a monolith and should not be treated as such. While noting the variation in growth rates across different countries and regions, Adesina attributed the continent’s rapid growth to a broad trend toward sounder macroeconomic and fiscal policy, greater political stability, and improvements in business infrastructure and investment. Adesina directed attention to the region’s flourishing economic markets, which have a projected consumer expenditure of $2.5 trillion and a projected business-to-business expenditure of $3.5 trillion by 2030.
The AfDB has set an ambitious “High Five” agenda, focused on improving African integration, industrialization, food security, electrification, and quality of life. Over a two-hour conversation, these goals were acknowledged as the underpinnings of the success of African development and industrialization, particularly as Africa’s population continues to grow. By 2050, the continent’s population is predicted to be over 2.5 billion, according to the United Nations, more than the combined populations of China and India today.
Discussion focused on 10 key themes. Read the full report here.
Report produced by FP Analytics, the independent research division of The FP Group.