Some African leaders have reiterated the need for the continent to learn from the successes of Asia to speed up economic development.
The president of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Akinwunmi Adesina, Benin’s President Patrice Talon and the Vice President of the Ivory Coast Daniel Kablan Duncan acknowledged Africa’s challenges but insisted it was time for Africa to double up.
“The Asians have a lot of guts and will to do it fast; second is that they invest quite heavily in infrastructure, in very good institutions and because with their sheer number, they do things at a large scale and that’s what we need to do in Africa,” AfDB President Akinwunmi Adesina said at the bank’s Annual Meetings in Ahmadabad, India.
“There are a lot of great lessons from Asia, from the special economist zones and the industrial zones that we can learn from. If there is anything I can say, the most critical is that we can do it,” he added.
This was supported by Benin’s President Patrice Talon who believes Africa is ready to meet the expectation as political risks are not much an obstacle.
“Africans have the capability to learn fast. The African continent is becoming a sure bet … there are some countries with some instabilities but a good number of African countries are politically stable. From my experience on economy, Africa is ready,” he said.
The Ivorian Vice President Daniel Kablan Duncan also stressed on the need for an active all-inclusive political reform where the structures are well formed.
“When I say political will, it’s not just a declaration. It’s the need to transform these countries by setting up all the structural and sectoral reforms which is not all that easy. Many might not be pleased by that, but if we explain them and get the work done, we can move ahead,” he said.
Africa has benefited immensely from Asia in terms of trade for about half a century. As at 2016, bilateral trade from Asia to Africa amounted to $244 billion and while from Africa to Asia stood at $194 billion.