AFRICA’S richest man, Aliko Dangote, has said a resilient investor can overcome the continent’s challenges of fluctuating commodity prices, infrastructure gap, weak rule of law and corruption.
BY FIDELITY MHLANGA
Giving his keynote speech in Nigeria at the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF)Entrepreneurship Forum last week, Dangote said despite Africa’s impediments the continent was laden with a lot of opportunities.
“Several growth drivers include political stability, improved micro and macro environment, micro economic reforms. However, there also challenges fluctuating commodity prices, infrastructure gap, weak rule of law, corruption but a resilient investor can overcome them,” he said.
Dangote visited Zimbabwe in 2015 where he met President Robert Mugabe and announced plans to sink over $1 billion in cement manufacturing, power generation and mining. However, the projects are yet to take off amid claims of bureaucratic bungling thereby putting a damper on Zimbabwe’s efforts to lure investors.
The billionaire investor said he was bullish on Africa which is a land of opportunities.
“Africa’s growth trajectory is re-emerging. In the last two years the average growth rate of African economies of 5,5% is really good. By 2050 one person in five in the world will be an African and 60% of the world entrepreneurs will be here in Africa,” he said.
Dangote urged entrepreneurs drawn from all over Africa to remain resonate and determined in the pursuit of investment.
“Know your intentions and don’t be comfortable not to seek advisors. Take risk and see the invisible. Do not be afraid to fail.
Failure is a precursor to success. Bill Gates first company folded up, Jeff Besoz of Amazon several failed .There are many morefailures but that does not mean you are not going to succeed. You just have to be determined and focus. Africa’s potentials are so enormous we cannot afford to overlook them. We cannot overlook the enormous amount of work required to turn Africa’s potentials into accomplishments,” he said.
Dangote whose investments cuts across a wide array of sectors said agriculture presented a lot of investment opportunities in Africa.
“We import food worth about $30 billion, when we are supposed to feed other continents. So, you see we can turn to agriculture into the future when you look at this, the sky is the limit,” he said.