Africa must harness potential

Money
File: Jim O'Neill, an economist for Goldman Sachs has said that Africa could become a dominant force in the economic landscape. Picture: AFP

CAPE TOWN - Fast-growing Africa could be a dominant force in the world's economic landscape for decades to come if the continent gets its act together, top Goldman Sachs economist Jim O'Neill said Tuesday.

Africa was "one part of the world that has got a very high growth rate that is accelerating," said O'Neill, the firm's asset management chairman, pointing to a forecast of six percent growth this decade.

But to harness the boom, African leaders must improve technology, education and the rule of law, including reducing corruption, he said.

"If all of those things happen, this is going to be Africa's decade," he told an African Venture Capital Association conference.

Responsible for coming up with the BRIC acronym - the Brazil, Russia, India and China grouping - O'Neill has questioned South Africa's inclusion in the grouping among its bigger partners.

A role for South Africa was to act to allow the continent to "economically behave as one" through infrastructure and trade links, he said.

"Because if it can, then my goodness me, it is not only the next decade, it is going to be the next three or four."

On BRICS, he said the development bank was potentially the "first real sign" of joint action by the political leaders of the grouping.

"South Africa has a big role to play and probably quite a responsibility in being some kind of genuine gateway to helping the rest of Africa become more successful," he said.

"The scale of the changes that are going on means that sometime this decade, probably in the next two years, the BRICS countries collectively will become bigger than the US."

-AFP

COMMENTS



LATEST STORIES

Tshediso Matona, DG of Public Enterprises has been placed as the new head of the country's flailing state-owned energy company.
At least 36 people, including several children, were killed in Japan when landslides triggered by torrential rain slammed into the outskirts of the western city of Hiroshima.
The mother of American journalist James Foley, apparently executed by Islamic State jihadists, on Wednesday paid tribute to her son.

TOP STORIES view all

Frustrated ratepayers are receiving inflated bills for differing reasons, and are battling to get fair treatment by the City of Joburg.
The construction company involved in renovating a house that collapsed killing seven people in Alberton, will contribute to the funerals of those killed.
A five-year-old girl from Pretoria screamed so hard during a hijacking that the robbers stopped the car and ran away, Beeld newspaper reported on Wednesday.

NEWS STREAMcloseview all

This is the overlay

eNCA Subscriptions

Close