Africa has experienced high rates of growth despite bottlenecks like slow infrastructure development and poor methods of work, President Yoweri Museveni says.
The President made the remarks in response to questions on what he would tell investors about Africa at the third edition of the Global African Investment Summit, in Kigali-Rwanda. This is the first conference to be held in Africa since its inception. Previous conferences were held in the United Kingdom.
He said Africa is the next big centre of growth despite forward and backward movements, saying the economic growth is pushing up demand for essentials such as cement and steel.
“I would inform investors that Africa is the right place to come. Africa is the next pusher for the global economy. We have a bit of bottlenecks, which we are handling. There are investment opportunities in the electricity sector, value addition for Agriculture products, minerals and human resource development.
President Museveni added that the private sector in Uganda has solved the issue of communication because more people have access to phones in the whole country. He however warned against greedy investors who charge high tariffs for quick gains at the expense of the people.
“Investors forget the logic of business. In business, there are two players, the producer of goods and services and the consumer both linked to infrastructure,” he said.
“Generally speaking, the situation in Africa is very good. There are high growth rates and many countries have been growing despite bottlenecks both hardware (Roads etc) and software (Methods of work). Freedom of movement of people is a software issue because it is just policy and is being handled,” he said.
On the negative media stories about investing in Africa, President Museveni said not all African countries have negative reports. He asked investors to take interest in the situations on the continent and start from where the investment climate is conducive for doing business.
Rwandan President Paul Kagame said stability is one of the prerequisites for sustainable economic growth coupled with in people in the area of developing their skills, improving infrastructure and services. President Kagame said progress in any endeavor is about valuing time highly and using it well.
He said endless delays are an embarrassment and proposed that there should be a financial penalty of some form if deadlines are not met by public institutions adding that Africa cannot just remain a story of huge potential that does not materialize.
“Postponing our priorities and delaying our commitments are the most expensive mistakes that Africa can make. Africa should not just remain a big story where nothing materializes. Africa can make it. Lets’ work together as one team across all sectors and borders with the correct mindset for the development of the continent,” he said.
This was part of an interactive session moderated by CNNMoney Africa Correspondent Eleni Giukos. The discussion held under the theme, “Accelerating African Economic Integration through trade and investment” was attended by host President Paul Kagame, President and CEO of the PTA Bank Admassou Tadesse and the CEO of Symbion Paul Hinks.
The two-day summit is organized by the Global African Investment COMESA and the Government of Rwanda and is aimed at promoting investment in a various sectors including: education, ICT, development and the economy.