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AfDB says African leaders ready to boost regional integration

by Business News Report

The African Development Bank (AfDB) said the present collaboration of some African leaders was an indicator of political will to boost the regional integration for effective economic growth. Prof. Mthuli Ncube, the Chief Economist, AfDB stated this on Wednesday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) at the 24th World Economic Forum on Africa in Abuja.

The AfDB at the meeting with the theme: “Forging inclusive growth, Creating Job’’, said African leaders remained focused on economic growth.

“I think the leaders are focused on letting their economies move, they are very serious with regional integration, certainly cooperation between South Africa and Nigeria is strong. And between Kenya and South Africa is good and now you have Kenya and Nigeria. President Uhuru Keyatta is here and there is a desire for economic cooperation.

“There is no question about commitment and desire to move the continent forward with these economies playing a big role,” he said.

He described Nigerian economy as vibrant, adding that with the managers of the economy, the desire to move the nation forward was not in doubt.

He said that with existing foundation of several African economies, inclusive growth was achievable. He said that South Africa and Kenya would by the end of the year also be rebased, adding that about 37 other African countries would equally be rebased later.

He said that if all of them rebased at once hypothetically, it would increase African GDP rate by 40 per cent to well over $2. 2billion.

Ms Arunma Oteh, the Director General, Securities and Exchange Commission, said that with the revamping of the African union, strong leadership was growing in Africa.

She explained that with the indicators from other regions in the continent, there was no doubt that the leaders were committed to move the continent’s economy forward.

“We are seeing some credible projects, for example in West Africa, the road project that will connect Nigeria all the way to Senegal.”

“There is the West African Power Pole Project; we can see the benefits of the actions they are pulling. I think the political leadership is very committed,” she said

Oteh called for the implementation of free visa policy as agreed on in the last WEF between Nigeria and South Africa to facilitate business. According to her, it will go a long way to reducing the level of constraints witnessed by business people in both countries.

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