When Africa’s richest man speaks about the development issues in Africa, it’s probably worth listening to. Aliko Dangote the President of the Dangote Group has issued a rallying call for entrepreneurs and businessmen in Africa to invest in their own continent in order to spur both growth and development in Africa.
He strongly believes that Africans themselves have the key to their own prosperity. He himself invests in more than 13 countries in Africa and has strong beliefs on how Western countries can aid the continent too. He advocates investment over aid, which will bring much more sustainable benefits and real growth.
The whole process will benefit everyone involved he says, investors will make more money and Africans will benefit. He maintains that although investing in Africa can be challenging the return on investment can be better than anywhere. He also states that although there are risks there are few areas where this is a serious impediment.
Africa obviously has it’s challenges but where there is political stability it is an exciting place to do business. I recently went on a trip to Zambia to help source products like silver for an online jewelry shop – here it is in case you’re interested http://www.anythingsilver.org/. There is a huge appetite to do business with the rest of the world and slowly infrastructure and political obstacles to entrepreneurs are being eliminated or at least removed.
When you hear that Aliko Dangote’s company is now investing in a $400 million in a new cement plant in Zambia you can’t help feel the time is right to invest in Africa. There are always political worries of course, but when an African invests that sort of money it’s as good a sign as any that things are improving. The infrastructure is there with internet and telecoms improving rapidly all the time, my hotel manager in Harare last time set up a UK TV VPN for me to watch the BBC news !