Africa Lures Investors at Davos Forum

Africa Lures Investors at Davos Forum

Many African politicians are attending the World Economic Forum in Davos. Above all, they want to find investors and present their nations in the best possible light, but even problems can turn into selling points.

Africa Lures Investors at Davos Forum

The heads of state and government from Guinea, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, Kenya and Mauritius are debating the future of their continent over dinner at a Hotel in Davos. In the jargon of the World Economic Forum, the event is called an "Interactive Dinner Session." Journalists are not allowed in, but entrepreneurs and investors are.

South Africa's President Jacob Zuma (right in the top picture) is in Davos, too, but obviously has something else on the agenda. Zuma's trying to downplay the violence surrounding miners' strikes in his country last year when almost 50 people lost their lives. After all, violent strikes and calls for much higher wages could put off investors, couldn't they?

"We have seen the worst, we are dealing with the matters," Zuma said. "All of us - organized, labor, business, the government - we are dealing with it to correct it because it cannot go back to a situation that created the impression that there's no governance of this matter."

Eying investors behind South Africa, Nigeria is the biggest economic power in Africa south of the Sahara. For a long time, the country has focused solely on its oil exports, neglecting its agriculture. But that is to change now. Nigeria wants to modernize its agriculture via a large-scale investment program. The aim is to become self-sufficient or even to become an exporter rather than spending billions on the import of agricultural produce.

Agriculture Minister Akinwunmi Adesina was straightforward about why a whole delegation from Nigeria has come to Davos. "Absolutely, I have tried to attract investors," Adesina told DW. "President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan hosted a fantastic meeting attended by global CEOs, and today I've been in discussions with Syngenta, DuPont and several others that are talking to us about coming to Nigeria."

"Why are they coming to Nigeria? They can see the opportunity," he continued. "And I can tell you, there is no better place to be for agriculture in Africa than Nigeria."

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