Economic Forum Attracts Over $68 Billion To Africa

The World Economic Forum, WEF, on Africa wrapped up on Friday, is attracting investment worth more than $68 billion targeted at projects that would foster agricultural and improve infrastructure, education, skill development and information technology, among others in Africa.

WEF’s managing director, Philipp Rosler, said the funds would continue to yield results in the next years.

“Millions of people have now realized that Africa is important in global economy,” he said.

Dangote Group, owned by Aliko Dangote, Africa’s riches man, will invest about $16 billion in the continent over the next four years, which will create around 180,000 jobs.

“A total of $2 billion from donor agencies has been committed to improve electricity supply across Nigeria, and $700 million to the immunization program,” WEF’s Africa director, Elsie Kanza, added.

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The Nigerian government on Friday also announced $10 million (about N1.6 billion) to support the ‘Safe School Initiation’.

The Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, made the announcement at the closing news briefing of the Economic Forum in Abuja.

She explained that the amount was to support the Nigerian business community at the conference, which had launched the initiative with $10 million to support efforts to find the Chibok girls and to ensure safety of Nigerian girls in school.

According to Okonjo-Iweala, the scheme will start with 500 schools from Northern Nigeria as a pilot scheme.

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“The Safe School Initiative supported by Gordon Brown and our business community is one direct outcome of this forum. The government will partner with them; this is what we are doing and planning to make schools safe. Mr President has announced another 10 million dollars to match the existing 10 million dollars put in by the business community,” she said.

According to her, government’s commitment to rescue the abducted girls will not stop with WEF, which has helped to rally the international community support on the issue.

Also, UNited Nations, UN, Special Envoy on Education, Gordon Brown, said terrorism could not stop progress in Africa and effort to bring back the girls would continue to intensify until they were released.

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He assured that the international community was committed to ensuring that the girls were saved, adding that the families would be supported and also advocated other international donor organisations and individuals to support the initiative of the business community of Nigeria.

“Our first worry is about the girls, we want to bring them back,” Brown emphasised.

The three-day event, withthe theme of “Forging Inclusive Growth, Creating Jobs,” was held for the first time in a West African country and more that 1,000 participants attended the forum.

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