African states must play their part in increasing the continent’s competitiveness, writes Chichi Maponya.
Johannesburg - The growth and development of the African continent depends on all its states working together to build a competitive and thriving continent.
When all nations play their part in growing Africa’s economy, it will contribute to Africa’s collective growth and ultimately being able to finance its own development in the future.
Cross-border trading and economic integration is one of the keys to fully unlocking Africa’s economic development and competitiveness. Africa is the only continent that has not yet fully-leveraged intra-continental trade. Various policies and programmes, foremost among which is Agenda 2063, aim to change this so Africa’s resources can be mobilised for the benefit of continental growth and development.
In December last year, Brand SA conducted research on how local companies have expanded their footprint into the African market and how this has resulted in economic growth on the continent. Brand SA’s research shows South Africa is the third-largest source of foreign direct investment (FDI) on the continent. Companies such as MTN and Standard Bank have increased their footprint throughout the continent in the last few years and by so doing have created jobs throughout Africa.
They have also contributed to infrastructure development on the continent through their continental operations. This is an example of how South Africa has played its part in contributing to one of Agenda 2063’s objectives: one where national economies should create shared growth, decent jobs and economic opportunities for all. It highlights how competitive strengths can be used to contribute to continental growth and development.
This also echoes the 2013 EY Africa Attractiveness Survey that indicates the top three countries of origin for FDI on the continent (by number of projects) are the UK at 104, the US at 78, and South Africa with a total of 63 during 2013 alone. Therefore, since 1994, South African corporates have internationalised at a significant pace, making the country one of the leading sources of investment on the continent.
Written by Chichi Maponya | Source: http://www.iol.co.za/