South 2 North

Banking on Africa's economic boom

Can the continent capitalise on its recent financial prosperity to achieve a repeat of Asia's economic miracle?

Last Modified: 01 Jun 2013 09:20
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No subject is off limits in the first ever global talk show hosted from Africa in which Redi Tlhabi talks frankly to inspiring and intriguing personalities from across the world.

In the last 10 years, Africa has become one of the most dynamic regions in the world. A combination of natural and human resources has fuelled huge investments from both traditional and emerging powers.

As the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) kicks off in Yokotama in Japan, South2North takes a look at how Africa can best benefit from its current economic boom. And we ask: Can Africa turn this boom into a repeat of Asia's economic miracle?

Redi Tlhabi talks to Dr Ibrahim Mayaki, the former prime minister of Niger and current head of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD).

"When NEPAD was created in 2001 Africa was looking like Greece today, which means that the quality of our public management systems was low, our capacity to think strategically was low, and the inclusivity of our public policy design and implementation processes was low. In 12 years now, these things have been transformed," Mayaki says.

Redi asks if Africa has benefited from the global economic downturn in terms of attracting FDI away from Europe or the US.

"If you look at the sovereign world funds, they are being more and more attracted by Africa. Why? Because the returns are better than in other regions of the world. So they are becoming natural partners of Africa in investing in infrastructure. We just have to be sufficiently intelligent in managing the risks and one of the main risks beyond the issues of enabling conditions, regulatory frameworks, is political risk … The era of aid is dead."

Redi also speaks to Yutaka Yoshizawa, Japan’s ambassador to South Africa, about whether or not Africa can learn anything from the Asian economies. Yoshizawa points out that while aid from Japan to Africa has doubled in the last five years, Japanese investments are also increasing.

"Of course Africa is far away from Japan and, traditionally, the aid is more the centre of the relationship between Africa and Japan. But increasingly Japanese companies are coming to Africa for trade, investment and, I’m sure as Africa is rapidly growing, there is going to be more Japanese companies coming."


South2North can be seen each week at the following times GMT: Friday: 1930; Saturday: 1430; Sunday: 0430; Monday: 0830.


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