Casablanca is the economic capital of Morocco. This is where the 5th International Africa Development Forum was held. More than 2,000 representatives of some 30 African countries met for two days.
“It is truly the whole African economic elite that was present at the Forum. The objective was to boost energy across Africa, and to create a true new model of South-South cooperation based on trust and co-development,” reported euronews correspondent Serge Rombi from Casablanca.
What are the opportunities? How is it possible to create a concrete common wealth? The Casablanca Forum was intended as a platform for exchange between private investors and African policy makers. A dialogue that focused on the pooling of forces.
“If a neighbouring country to mine has a dam with a very high electricity rate, it is not useful for me to make the same investment again. Nothing but the pooling of our tools and our resources can enable us to be a true economic force,” said Madeline Berre, Gabon Minister for Promoting Private Investment, Trade, Tourism and Industry.
Africa today is a continent of one billion people, a figure that will more than double by 2050. The challenge is therefore also to create an “inclusive” growth, in other words integrating a social dimension.
“How to develop models of economic growth, to integrate low-income populations, and especially, especially youth, because it is estimated that 12 to 13 million young Africans enter the labour market each year,” explained Mohamed El El Kettani, CEO Attijariwafa Bank Group.
The growth potential of Africa is very important. To attract investors, many countries like Burkina Faso and Senegal have created strategies based on emergence. Models that the participants at the Casablanca Forum also shared.
“If this growth is not exploited by Africans themselves it will be very unfortunate because others will come and do it,” suggested Abdoul Aziz Tall, Minister in charge of Monitoring of the Senegal Emerging Plan Implementation.
Conscious of its strengths, Africa in also aware it will need to remain open to other continents.