, KIGALI, Rwanda, May 11 – There has been skepticism in the recent past about Africa’s rise.
So, the question remains, is Africa still rising?
President Uhuru Kenyatta’s answer is a resounding ‘yes!’
Kenya’s Head of State believes the problem is that the narrative around Africa has always been far too simplistic and far too reductive and the continent often stops rightly interpreting its unfolding story, “to embrace the novelty of a new plot.”
President Kenyatta President Uhuru Kenyatta who was a panelist on the discussion on ‘Growth In Africa: Rising or Falling’ on Wednesday afternoon at the World Economic Forum in Kigali, Rwanda was resolute that young Africans needed to be empowered to innovate, and African businesses enabled to expand and contribute to the global competition that brings consumers quality at the lowest cost.
“If farmers are able to competitively export their produce, then Africa will change the world. What is at stake when considering the economic prospects of Africa isn’t just the future of the continent, it’s the future of the world,” President Kenyatta said.
He acknowledged that the continent has suffered setbacks but was optimistic the tide was turning.
“Many are wondering whether Africa’s so-called rise is real, or whether we celebrated a little too early. Several factors have raised this skepticism: from security crises, to the widespread challenge of youth unemployment, to slower growth on the continent.”
In giving hope, he explained that Africa had achieved a solid average growth rate of 5 percent over the past 15 years.
“In many countries, the business environment has radically changed – greater investments in energy, and clean energy, are meeting the demand for more reliable electricity. Serious investments in infrastructure are set to connect the continent in more ways than ever before expanding opportunities for Africans, lowering the cost of doing business, and enabling the realisation of more intra-African trade.”
He singled out signing of the Tripartite Free Trade Area that brings together 26 countries in COMESA, EAC and SADC as clear indication of Africa’s commitment to shaping its own destiny through increased intra-Africa trade, investment and technology transfer.
“The digital era is also upon us, and through new technology, African citizens are more connected to information, ideas and each other than ever before – as well as being connected to mobile money solutions, and public services that are offered digitally.”