Africa’s potential to contribute more significantly to the global economy is increasingly being recognised around the world, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said yesterday in Cape Town. “There’s a great deal of excitement around the world… about South Africa as the new place, where you going to see exciting things happening over the next 10 to 20 years,” Gordhan told reporters on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum (WEF) on Africa. Gordhan said his visits to Washington and London in recent weeks proved to be both insightful and positive.
The WEF offered an opportunity to convince more people about Africa’s potential. “It’s about saying to people who have money and want to make a profit out of their money that you can invest in South Africa and the African continent, and you can have opportunities to work with us.” Investors needed to be reminded that 60% of the world’s arable land was in Africa. “It’s a very resource-filled continent as well. More importantly, it’s a continent that has a billion potential consumers,” Gordhan said. The fact that Africa’s youth population would exceed that of other continents in the next two to three decades was also a motivating factor. “It means this is the part of the world that is going to offer growth potential… that is going to offer new answers on climate change, on economic development, on reducing inequality and poverty.”