Nigerian businessman, mogul and Dangote Group founder, Aliko Dangote has called for an increase in efforts that will develop Africa’s regional market. Dangote has urged African investors and governments to aid in the rapid growth and development of the continent’s economy.
Speaking during a forum at the on-going 5th annual Financial Times (FT) African Summit in London, UK, the Nigerian entrepreneur said the key to Africa’s economic growth and strength is in the development of the regional market.
The Summit was graced by representatives, business leaders and influencers, including Ghana’s President, Nana Akufo-Addo. All agreed that African economies hold vast potential and would thrive if they are pushed in the right direction.
“Regional markets in Africa must work,” Dangote affirmed.
Citing an instance of his own experience, the president of Dangote group referred to the case of neighbouring Benin Republic where the country continues to import cement from China while his Nigerian factory is only 35 miles away from the border.
“We need to trade with ourselves,” Dangote stated as he spoke about the prospect of African economy, the free trade agreement and the availability of huge raw materials to attract investors.
“Our aim is to always provide jobs and worth. As an African investor I don’t want any investor anywhere in Africa to have a bad experience,” he said in regard to so called difficult markets like Tanzania and Ethiopia.
“We need to continue to transform the structure of African economies,” he continued.
He alluded to his company’s entry into the Ghana Sugar market, pointing that he is further expanding his sugar business to Ghana for the main reason of helping to revitalize its economy.
He said Africans must patronize African markets which is why the free trade agreements by African nations is the direction to go to strengthen African markets.
This year, the FT Africa Summit focused on business and investment. After a few difficult years, the economic and business environment is improving in much of the continent. The cyclical upturn has been helped by political developments, particularly in Southern Africa.
This year’s event had a special emphasis on Asian investments in Africa, not only from China, but also from countries such as Turkey, India, Lebanon, the Gulf States, South Korea and more.