South Africa Government

11/08/2018 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 11/08/2018 06:17

Premier David Makhura: Opening plenary of Africa Investment Forum

Welcome remarks by Gauteng Premier David Makhura on the occasion of the opening plenary of the inaugural Africa Investment Forum, Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg.

His Excellency, President of the Republic of South Africa, President Cyril Ramaphosa;
Your Excellencies, Heads of State and Government;
President of the African Development Bank, Dr Akinwumi Adesina;
Minister in the Presidency, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma;
Ministers, Deputy Ministers, Governors and MECs;
President of the United Cities and Local Government, Mr Parks Tau;
Ambassadors and High Commissioners;
Heads of Multilateral Development Finance Institutions;
Mr Aliko Dangote, Africa's foremost entrepreneur;
Distinguished Business Leaders and Investors;
Fellow Africans:

Jambo Africa. Good morning Africa. Bonjour Africa's. Bom Dia. Dumelang Ma-Afrika. Sanibonani nonke Ma-Afrika amahle.

Welcome to the Second Day of the Inaugural Africa Investment Forum. What a beautiful Johannesburg.

A lot was said yesterday and last night about the historic nature of this premier investment market place of our continent.

The mood prevailing here is that we want to emerge from Johannesburg concrete results - real transactions and real deals that are signed and sealed. Africa is tired of forums that are talk-shops.

As start our second day, we are reminded of the words of that great son of the people of Burkina Faso, Amilcar Cabral that:

'Always bear in mind that the people are not fighting for ideas, for things in anyone's head. They are fighting to win material benefits, to live better and in peace, to see their lives go forward, to guarantee a better future for their children'.

The Africa Investment Forum is precisely about winning concrete results that guarantee a better future for the children of Africa; for the women and youth of our continent. President Adesina correctly says that people do not eat potential.

From yesterday, we have been re-writing Africa's investment story from potential to real bankable projects and deals. Africa is making a transition from aid to investment and from poverty to prosperity here and now.

By hosting this historic Forum, South Africa is placing itself at the service of this great cause of our continent, as the catalyst for investment.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has placed investment, inclusive economic growth and jobs at the centre of his Presidency. Mr President, you are doing a great job in bring back renewed hope and confidence.

Two weeks ago, you convened the Inaugural South Africa Investment Conference which raised $20 billion at one go. This is a powerful statement of confidence by the private sector. I am confident that the target you set for raising $100 billion in five years is achievable.

South Africa is blessed to be led by a leader who understands how both businesspeople and workers think; someone who understands how investment decisions are made; someone absolutely committed to create policy certainty, improve the ease of doing business and enhance the performance of our public institutions and tackle corruption in the private and public sector.

In this task, you are greatly assisted by, among others, the mother and architect of the African Union's Agenda 2063 - Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma; a leader who understands our continent so deeply.

Investor confidence is rising as demonstrated by the Business Confidence Index which has increased for two consecutive months from 90.5 in August to 95.8 in October this year. Fellow Africans and international investors, South Africa is in safe hands.

Gauteng is at the cutting edge of Africa's industrialization efforts. Our province is also one of the principal contributors to Africa's economic integration and intra-Africa trade.

This province I have the honour to lead is financial nerve centre and manufacturing workshop of Sub-Saharan Africa.

We contribute 35% to South Africa's economy. We have 14.7 million people - one out of every four people in South Africa lives in Gauteng. We are the seventh largest economy in Africa.

We are host to many African migrants and entrepreneurs who have chosen Gauteng as their home, instead going to Europe or America.

Gauteng businesses have 200 active investment projects in the different parts of Africa, contributing more than $30 billion to intra-Africa trade. Our businesspeople believe in Africa. Gauteng exports 31% of goods and services to different regions of our continent.

Transport and capital equipment; food and beverages as well as professional services are the key drivers of Gauteng's investment into the continent.

Our continent also has the potential to become the world's next great manufacturing centre and in the coming years, we will be a major source of food for the world as 60% of the world's unused arable land is on our continent.

Over the past two decades, our continent has also made tremendous progress in improving economic and social conditions of its population.

For instance real per-capita incomes have risen 50% on average. In some African countries real per-capita incomes have doubled. At the same time infant mortality rates fell dramatically from 108 to 55 per 1000 live births.

We are encouraged that despite weaker economic growth, in 2017 Foreign Direct Investment into our continent rose by 6% from its 2016 levels, with a total of 718 FDI projects were recorded.

Also encouraging is that investment into our continent is now evenly spread across regions. Investors are also shifting focus to infrastructure, manufacturing and renewables other than focusing only on extractive industries. This, we believe, augurs well for the long-term prospects of our economies.

To attract more investments there is a need for African governments to think deeply about impediments to investments. This includes insisting on good governance and ethical leadership as well as ensuring an investor friendly regulatory framework.

More often, people make a mistake of thinking that Africa's greatest wealth is its minerals. My view is that Africa's greatest wealth and its real potential lies in its youthful population; its entrepreneurial and resilient women; its vast army of informal sector businesses. To unlock this potential, we need better infrastructure, better education, better healthcare and better government through strong and sound institutions.

In other words, the work of building the Africa we want is the responsibility that must be shared between government, the private sector and civil society have a key role to play.

Let me conclude by challenging my counterparts in sub-national governments - the Mayors and Governors of Africa's major Cities and Regional governments - to do much more in actively promoting African cities and regions as destinations of investment and hubs of innovation and industrialisation. We all need to put our full weight in making Africa work. We can't leave these tasks to our Presidents and National Ministers alone. We can make a big difference as Governors and Mayors.

This is exactly what we in Gauteng are doing. We are putting our full weight behind the efforts of our President to attract investment and create jobs, including in the townships, where the majority of our population lives.

Once more I proudly say 'Africa, South Africa and Gauteng are open for business'!

Let the transactions and deals continue today.

God Bless Africa!

Asante sana. Merci buku. Muntu obrigado. Siyabonga. Rea leboga. Rholivhuwa. Ha khensa.