(DAVOS) If there is pessimism about investing in Africa no one has told the head of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Akinwumi Adesina about it as he is dreaming of double digit growth for the continent..
“Everyone knows Africa is the place to invest,” he smiled as he breezed into the World Economic Forum at Davos, Switzerland on Tuesday.
Adesina – the former Nigerian agriculture minister – is at the forefront of selling Africa to foreign investors at this gathering in the famous Swiss ski resort. The AfDB believes the continent will grow by around 4.2% next year, compared to a dismal 2.2 % in 2016, but even this is not fast enough for Adesina.
“We really need double digit growth in Africa. People can’t eat GDP figures and we really need a lot of growth to free people from poverty,” says Adesina.
Investment must come from within Africa, as well as without, if this dream of double digit growth is to become reality, he says. Sovereign wealth funds and pension funds in Africa are worth an estimated $670 billion and more than a trillion with the next decade. Adesina believes this money should be ploughed into creating jobs for the growing number of Africans leaving college and school.
On November 7 and 8 Adesina will to hold an investor conference in Johannesburg, South Africa..
“We do not want just talk. We want to get global investors together at this conference in November to make sure that things happen,” he says.