Lagos State governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has said that for the African Sub-region to attain its rightful position in growth and development, there is the greater need for selflessness to thrive in decision making. According to him, the continent, which has enormous natural and human capital, can only attract the quantum of investment needed for its advancement, if the right thing is done at the realm of leadership. Gov Sanwo-Olu, represented by the deputy governor, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, made these opening remarks on Wednesday at the two-day 2023 CFA Institute Africa Investment Conference in Lagos.
For the theme of the conference which centers on ‘The Emergence of Africa: A Rethink or A Restrategising? Dr. Hamzat noted that “the works that need to be done by leaders, policy makers and intellectuals, and indeed for all Africans, is to think through a strategy that will bring about balance and equitable development that leaves no one behind “. “We’ve already commenced on this journey, leveraging on the resilience of our people, embracing and deploying technology, and maximizing the demographic gift of our city”, he added.
Gov Sanwo-Olu, while using the conference to invite investors to key into the abundant investment opportunities in the state, noted that the transport, financial services sector and the new Lekki international airport should be areas of interest. “We invite investors to join us in constructing the Lekki international Airport which has capacity to serve 5 million travellers annually. In addition, we welcome investors to partner with us in developing four other Rail lines, in different parts of Lagos. The designs and ETA have been done. This will be able to commute 4 million citizens daily. This no doubt will bring about huge returns on investment”, the governor added.
In her welcome remarks, Ibukun Oyedeji, CFA (President, CFA Society Nigeria) said the conference marks a significant milestone in CFA collective pursuit of advancing investment opportunities and driving sustainable growth across the African continent. According to her “As we gather here, we are joined by a diverse and dynamic group of professionals, policymakers, entrepreneurs, and thought leaders who share a common vision: to unlock the immense potential that Africa holds.
“Africa, with its vibrant economies, rich resources, and a young and ambitious workforce, offers a wealth of untapped opportunities. Our goal over the next few days is to delve into these opportunities, engage in insightful discussions, and forge meaningful connections that will drive positive change and prosperity. Throughout this conference, we have curated a lineup of esteemed speakers and experts who will share their knowledge and perspectives on various sectors and investment themes. We will explore emerging trends, innovative strategies, and the transformative power of sustainable investment practices that can shape the future of Africa.
“From exploring the potential of renewable energy and infrastructure development to discussing fintech innovations, the rise of impact investing, capacity building for African professionals, we have designed a comprehensive agenda that reflects the diverse landscape of investment opportunities in Africa. Our panel sessions and networking opportunities provided during this conference will provide ample opportunities for deep dives into specific sectors, fostering collaboration, and exchanging ideas.
Also in her remarks, Marg Franklin, CFA (President, CFA Institute) said the drive of the institute is to unlock the potentials inherent in Africa as they relate to investment goals. Franklin who informed participants at the conference that Artificial intelligence can only be successful with human intelligence also noted, “Africans need products applicable to its regions. This will provide avenues for investment in a growing economy, thus providing the needed impetus to draw people out of poverty “, she added.
In her keynote address, Aisha Dahir-Umar, Director General, National Pension Commission, who was represented by Mr. Shola Adeseun, a Regional Head, said the interconnectedness of the financial industry helps to drive pension scheme in the domestic economy.
In the first panel titled: Medium-Term Outlook of Key African Economies, Chief Executive Officer, Economic Associates, Dr. Ayo Teriba, examined African and global economy, the shocks induced by COVID-19, the Russian-Ukraine war and the Israeli-Hamas conflict. He stated that giving the dislocations and shocks caused by those crises, the global economy and indeed that of Africa in the new ear, would no longer be dependent on exports and industries, but by what he called de-industrialization, increasing FDIs and buying of industrial outputs.