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Africa the best place to invest in - Ramaphosa

He has told the Financial Times Africa Summit on Monday that the continent was the best place to invest.

president-cyril-ramaphosa-in-londonjpg

JOHANNESBURG - President Cyril Ramaphosa has told investors in London that not only is South Africa the place to do business, but the whole continent.

He has told the Financial Times Africa Summit on Monday that the continent was the best place to invest.

The president said the continent had challenges with weak implementation and corruption but the continental free trade area would bring together 54 nations, their 1.2 billion people and their combined GDP of $3 trillion.

Ramaphosa said millions still didn't have access to proper health care or education in Africa but the continent was determined to seize this investment moment.

“Africa is the continent with the youngest population in the world, which is expected to have a working-age population of 1.8 billion by 2035; it is a rapidly urbanising continent. By 2030, Africa will host more than 41 megacities with more than 10 million inhabitants each.”

He said South Africa was positioning itself get a share of the 20 million jobs that must be created by the continent every year over the next two decades.

“We have taken steps to provide greater policy certainty in areas such as mining, oil and gas and telecommunications as part of efforts to create a stable environment for investment.”

He said in 2017/18, global foreign direct investment flows fell by 13% but the increase saw an increase of 11%.

Ramaphosa also said African leaders were working together to end interference, especially from countries that fuel conflict on the continent.

He again congratulated Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abey Ahmed for winning the Nobel Peace Prize last week, saying he silenced guns and focused instead on economic cooperation and growth in his country.

Ramaphosa said African transformation and development would no longer be on terms imposed by others.

He said the continent could not develop if it remained a theatre of war.

“It [Africa] wants to see an end to outside interference, particularly from those countries that continue to fuel conflict in African countries; foreign money that buys the weapons that are used in theatres of war on the African continent should instead be building bridges, ports and rail lines, schools, hospitals and clinics.”

The president said when South Africa takes over as African Union chair, it would fast track the free trade area.

“We are looking at mistakes that others have done like the European Union to learn what they are doing and not doing, our union will be much more durable than what we are seeing.”

Ramaphosa said the agreement was expected to increase intra-Africa trade from the current 15% to 25% by 2040.

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