by ZIRRA BANU
WASHINGTON — Growth and political development were at the center of talks surrounding Africa and economic development at the “Politics of African Growth and Social Inclusion” conference last week. On Thursday, Oct. 16 and Friday Oct. 17, scholars and practitioners from around the world presented their latest findings and the next big things for the continent.
The mortgage and housing-construction sectors are a hotspot for foreign direct investment into Africa, according to Manchester Trade’s Anthony Carroll, who also serves as senior associate at the CSIS Africa Program. Agri-business is also a major pull for investors.
Regarding employment and job growth on the continent, large-scale private equity investments highly encourage job growth. Carolyn Campbell of Emerging Capital Partners discussed this after her presentation on “Changing Patterns of Finance in Africa.”
Quoted from the African Journal, Afshin Molavi of the Foreign Policy Institute and SAIS, said “the old image of unilateral dependency of African countries is no longer accurate.” He pointed to emerging partnerships with China, Brazil, and particularly the United Arab Emirates, as new economic associates with African countries.
The conference included presentations by representatives from GE Corporate, the World Bank, the Nigerian government, Oxford University, the London School of Economics, and the Brookings Institution, among other organizations. Presentations also included case studies on Angola, Ethiopia, Kenya and Rwanda.