African countries should come up with policies that support the development of Private if the Economies on the black continent are to grow.
Speaking during the first Kampala Strategic Leaders’ Summit on 20th February at the Kampala Sheraton Hotel, Dr Joseph Atta Mensah the Principal Policy Adviser, Capacity Development Division at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, said a strong private sector will drive growth of African economies.
“The Private sector, if well supported, can change the economies of most African countries but the challenge is with policies which do not support its growth. We need policies that can attract both local and international Investors into our economies,” he said.
According to him, most African economies are not developing because of the high rate of unemployment especially among the youth who make up much of the population on the continent. Mensah said such economic challenge can only be solved if there is a vibrant and developed private sector.
He said in order to support the development of the private sector; African governments must put in place incentives such as good infrastructures in terms of roads, power and quality education systems. This will produce quality human resources that are key to the development of the sector.
Giving a keynote address during the summit, former Finance minister Ezra Suruma said African states should ensure that they unite both politically and economically if they are to overcome the shocks which may be brought in by developed countries.
“Over depending on foreign Aid will not drive African economies; member states of the African Union should strive to mobilize resources regionally to finance key projects that can drive the economies,” he said.
He added that most African countries are endowed with precious natural resources but majority are not economically benefitting from such resources due to lack of technology, capital yet such challenges can be dealt with if nations are united.
Strategies for taking charge in times of uncertainties
The Strategic Forum was attended by participants from the Academia, private sector and Policy makers. The event was aimed at creating awareness among entrepreneurs, leaders, managers, academia and public officials to understand the strategies for taking charge and turning things around during times of uncertainties. This is in a bid to be able to deal with the governance and entrepreneurial leadership challenges confronting Africa.
Ugandan entrepreneur Patrick Bitature said for economies to progress, governments on the African continent need to address the challenges of weak Institutions and corruption, among other issues.
“Corruption and weak institutions are killing our economies; for the continent to be vibrant, our leaders should ensure that all institutions are strong and corruption is dealt with. Most African countries are ranking highly on the corruption index; such ranking scares away investors since corruption increases the cost of doing business,” he said.
The summit was organized by Human Capital International, a UK based human capital development company, with sponsorship from Ecobank, East African Business Week Digital, Sheraton Kampala Hotel, NBS TV, RwandAir, Capital FM, Events Warehouse and Capital Outdoor.
Godfrey Ivudria, the Managing Director East African Business Week Digital, said the strategic Leaders forum are key is shaping Leaders both in the public and private sector.
On her part, Annette Kihuguru, the executive director Ecobank said leaders from both government and the private sector should embrace Innovations if they are to excel in the current changing environment.
“The environment in which we operate has challenges like fast changing technology that increases underlying costs, increased competition from alternate lower cost service providers and fast changing needs of the market. As a leader, you must adapt if you are to remain relevant in the environment you operate. Let us all embrace the digital platforms coming up to make the business environment easier,” she advised.
BY SAMUEL NABWIISO