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Terrorism, conflicts bane of poor foreign investment in Africa


Jakaya Kikwete

Terrorism, wars, conflicts, and political instability have been described as the bane of poor foreign direct investment into Nigeria and other African countries. 

To reverse the trend, African countries including Nigeria, which currently ranks 169 out 189 countries in the ease of doing business ranking, have been admonished to urgently tackle the deficiencies responsible for their poor ranking.

Former Tanzania President, Jakaya Kikwete, stated this in his keynote address titled: “Dissecting the legal and regulatory framework for doing business in Africa,” at the African Bar Association 2017 conference in Port Harcourt, Rivers State yesterday.

Kikwete pointed out that irrespective of being a continent with over 30 per cent of the world’s mineral resources, 60 per cent of the world’s uncultivated farming land, Africa has remained the poorest due to colonial architectural economic framework that are still operational in most countries.

The former president observed that though since the 1990s, a lot African countries have introduced reforms, democratised the political system, however, reports of wars, conflicts, political instability, terrorist act like the one that happened on Sunday in Anambra State, have continued to paint a bad picture of Africa.  According to him, these socio-political issues will continue to make attracting business to Africa severely difficult if not resolved imperatively wherever they occur in the continent.

Kikwete explained that foreign direct investments in Africa is currently $59 billion, compared to Asia’s $443 billion and Europe’s $1 trillion. To this end, he suggested that in undertaking reforms, African countries should put in place firm legal policies and take urgent actions to improve the business environment, to attract foreign investment. 

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, observed that irrespective of her numerous challenges, some African countries currently have some of the fast growing economies in the world. Irrespective of this, he pointed out that doing business in Africa remains one of the most problematic globally.The governor then canvassed for provision of fiscal environment that will boost private sector investment in the continent.

Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal, observed that African problems were not insurmountable. He said the continent should not always be seen as a place of conflict, but one of hope.

The President, African Bar Association, Hannibal Uwaifo, blamed the sorry state of the continent on weak institutions, human rights abuses, rampant corruption, impunity, uncoordinated immigration and customs rules and self inflicted blockades that hamper free movement of human and material resources.

In another development, troops of 151 Battalion, 21 Brigade and 81 Task Force Battalion of 22 Brigade Nigerian Army of Operation Lafiya Dole on Saturday killed 13 terrorists along Miyanti-Banki junction and Gulumba Gana village of Borno State.

This was announced yesterday by the Director of Army Public Relations, Brig-Gen Sani Usman, in a statement issued to journalists in Maiduguri.
He said that the troops along Dukje-Mada road neutralized quite a number of the terrorists’ ambush party and recovered weapons.

“Unfortunately, two soldiers lost their lives when their vehicle stepped on an Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) buried along the road, while four others sustained injuries,” Usman noted in the statement.

Also, the Nigerian Customs Adamawa and Taraba states command arrested a truck loaded with 400 jerry cans of 25 liters along Madagali road heading to Sambisa Forest for supply to suspected members of insurgency.

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