Africa will be the next economic powerhouse of the world.
This was the projection made by Ghana Investment Promotion Centre CEO, Reginald Yofi Grant, during his presentation during the 21st Annual Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Symposium, held at the Trinidad Hilton Conference Centre, St Ann’s, on Monday.
He explained that based on the continent’s resources, it was well placed to emerge as an economic hot bed particularly given the energy transition currently being undertaken.
“Why is Africa so important? Africa today stands to hold not less than 40 per cent of the world’s remaining mineral resources, 90 per cent of the world’s platinum; 90 per cent of the world’s chromium and 90 per cent of the world’s cobalt, not to mention a significant proportion of the world’s lithium, manganese, copper, iron ore, bauxite.
And why is that very important? Because the world today, because of sustainability and climate change would require these significant minerals for energy transitions,” said Grant.
As he result, he expected the world to turn to Africa sooner, rather than later.
“So for me and for many others who understand the dynamics of global economic growth, Africa, the continent of Africa today and mark my words, it is Africa that is going to trigger the next wave of growth in the global economy. That is where it’s going to start,” said Grant, who also pointed out that by 2040, much of the Africa would have the largest working age population in the world.
Trade Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon said there was room for improved trade between the Caribbean and Africa.
She said, “Looking at Caricom/Africa trade, why have exports and goods not increased over time. The reality is in 2022 it only accounts for 3 per cent of the region’s exports, with these being heavily dominated by energy products from T&T.
“T&T’s exports to Africa were valued at US$769 million for the top receiving destinations being Ghana Morocco, Senegal, South Africa, and Angola. Africa on the other hand, exported US$290 in 2020. To be the top exporters been Nigeria, South Africa and Angola. This is for Trinidad and Tobago.”
She explained there was export potential between both regions in various sectors including healthcare, tourism, fertilisers and automobiles.
She said, “The Caribbean in turn could boost its exports of goods to Africa. By US$80 million, which is a 29 per cent increase. The data therefore shows that there is significant room and immense potential to be unlocked in expanding and diversifying trade and investments.”