In a speech delivered as part of celebrations to mark the African Union Day, the World Bank Vice President for the Africa Region, Obiageli Ezekwesili told investors and African ambassadors in Washington DC that even though Africa is open for business, it is not open to just any business.
“Africa does not need the irresponsible investments that have for many decades unleashed corruption and degrading conditions upon those they claim to serve”, Ezekwesili said.
The continent can only afford responsible investments, she emphasised.
According to Ezekwesili, Africa needs investments that are people-focused and pro-poor, promotes Africa’s efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, helps in creating jobs and promotes transparency, accountability as well as good governance.
Investments that bring about the emergence of an African middle class and build the skills Africans need to compete in today’s global and knowledge-based economy, she added.
Analysts have projected that FDIs into Africa will grow in the coming years.
Global financial experts, Ernst & Young has predicted that FDI into Africa will reach $150 billion by the end of 2015.
The World Bank, in a document titled “Africa’s Pulse” estimates that at the end of 2011, foreign direct investments (FDI) into Sub-Sahara Africa will hit a record high of $40.8 billion.
The extractive industries is expected to receive majority of these FDIs into the continent due to its perceived potential growth with some sectors such as tourism, consumer products, construction , telecommunications and financial services emerging as attractive investment options, it said.
The World Bank indicates that FDIs into Africa rose to $32 billion at the end of 2010 with prices of oil and metals exports seen as the main drivers.
By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi & Ekow Quandzie