The Chairman of Heirs Holdings, Mr. Tony Elumelu and the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), Carlos Lopes, have argued that responsible resource-based industrialisation could influence Africa’s economic growth.
Elumelu and Lopes made this assertion in an article published in the latest edition of the Economic Report on Africa (ERA 2013).
According to them, the idea that abundant natural resources could be the driver for industrial revolution across the continent was growing. Elumelu and Lopes expressed believe that such transformation was both imperative and possible. They however said it required courage, vision and a new mindset from the continent's business and political leaders to overcome the challenges that continue to hold back the building of a successful and dynamic industrial base in the continent.
Elumelu and Lopes noted that while policy makers in the continent must ensure they build more enabling business environments, the private sector must also take the lead in ensuring that Africa’s abundant natural resources are developed in a way that spreads prosperity throughout the continent.
The report also outlined how Africa’s future would be determined by the design and implementation of policies that should promote commodity-based industrialisation.
It also noted that a supportive policy and investment framework would attract long-term investors, adding that it was essential to build local capacity and develop skills.
“In this way, local economies will be able to grow and diversify, jobs will be created and inequality will be reduced. However, private-sector business leaders must also do more to tackle poverty and drive social progress by ensuring that long-term value addition – as well as short-term gain – is built into their business model,” it added.
Africapitalism, an economic philosophy developed by Elumelu, promotes a private-sector led approach to development, and provides a framework for effective collaboration between the public and private sectors and the development community