WEFA: AfDB says South Africa, other African countries rebasing their economies this year

Abuja, Nigeria (PANA) – South Africa and other African countries are joining Nigeria in rebasing their economies beginning this year, The Chief Economist at the African Development Bank (AfDB), Prof. Mthuli Ncube, said on the sidelines of the ongoing Abuja World Economic Forum on Africa (WEFA) summit.

Prof. Ncube said that the rebasing, in which Nigeria overtook South Africa as Africa’s largest economy by Gross Domestic Product (GDP), was good for the overall economic development of the African continent.

He expressed the hope that African countries will also rebase their economies as this will change some of the indicators that will make the region look at how to work towards solutions to the extreme poverty in the continent.

Ncube said, after his presentation at the Forum, that “in all, about 37 African countries will rebase this year.

He had presented a paper, titled ‘Driving Competitiveness through Cooperation, Integration and Economic Growth' at one of the WEFA sessions here.

Calling for Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa to synergize to strengthen the African economy and engender greater growth, Ncube stated: “If the  three countries could synergize, it would help to reduce the average poverty rate of 48 per cent currently in the region. These three economies -- Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa, as well as Egypt, when they come up, must work together to drive the African Economy.”

The Chairman of KMPG global Africa practice, Seyi Bickersteth, said: "For us to have a positive growth, we need to integrate, get rid of the guys in borders to reduce cost and time of business and movement."

Bickersteth spoke of how borders create huge challenges to free movement of goods.

His words: "Our political leaders have to step down their egos and provide enabling environment for private sector to play a major role."

A South African official, Cas Coovadia, threw his weight behind calls for Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya to forge greater integration.

Coovadia, who is the Chief Executive Officer of Business Unity, South Africa, stressed that the coming together of the three economies would be in the interest of the continent.

Coovadia added: "The hosting of the WEF in Nigeria is a great opportunity to see the largest economy in the region. We need efficient private sector participation, enhanced infrastructure and ensure accountability. The opportunity is there, Nigeria has a huge business sector, we need to get together and see how to drive the economy of Africa to create jobs."
-0- PANA MON/VAO 7May2014


07 Maio 2014 14:26:11




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