What is in this article?:
- Africa No Longer Risky Place to Do Business
- Improvement Still Needed
The International Monetary Fund in October predicted the region's economy would grow by 5% in 2012 and by 5.7% in 2013, with especially strong growth in Ghana, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Angola and Gabon.
Improvement Still Needed
Still, everyone admitted that sub-Saharan Africa, which accounts for just 2.5% of global gross domestic product (GDP), has a long way to go.
The continent's infrastructure lags far behind many other parts of the world, with business leaders at the panel complaining of the lack of good roads, in particular between countries, and unstable electricity and water supplies.
"Of course the issue of the infrastructure gap is significant," Jonathan acknowledged.
Zuma said that African leaders were working together to improve infrastructure and coordinate efforts, pointing as an example to the $80 billion Grand Inga Dam project in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
"Collectively the African Union has taken concrete decisions with regards to infrastructure," he noted.
Groups like the African Union and West African regional bloc ECOWAS have also taken on key roles in resolving unrest on the continent, the leaders said, including in the ongoing conflict in Mali.
"Definitely if you look at the situation in Mali, if it is not contained it will leak into West African countries," said Jonathan, whose country is sending 1,200 troops to take part in an African force helping French and Malian soldiers fight Islamist rebels in Mali's north.
Rwanda's President Paul Kagame, whose country is enjoying one of the fastest growth rates in Africa, said the continent's leadership also needed to take ownership of its problems.
"Investment risk is present in Africa, as it is in the rest of the world. You find different risk levels relating to different places, but they will be anywhere," he told the panel.
"For me, the best thing we can do for ourselves is own our problems and own our solutions."
For more on Africa's potential for major investments by U.S. manufacturers, click here.
Michael Mainville, AFP
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2013