By Moses Nosike
Sipho Mseleku is the President, The Global Business Roundtable, a trade mission and business networking which began in South Africa to create awareness on the need to urgently look into the numerous untapped natural endowment meant to launch the continent among the biggest economies of the world.
According to Mseleku, the network tends to bring Africans together for investment opportunities that abound in African region and the rest of the world.
In this interview with Moses Nosike, he listed vision, negligence, corruption, poor planning as major reasons why most African countries are poor in the midst of abundant resources. Excerpts
Why does most African countries still remain under-developed in spite of their abundant natural resources?
I think the key problem we have in Africa is leadership. And if we do not help decide the type of leadership we need in Africa, we will not be able to explore the opportunities. So, it is very important for our leaders to surround themselves with people that have capacity, expertise that would enable them make a proper decision.
These opportunities available to the continent would help it grow its economies – to create jobs and eradicate poverty and also free the continent from debts. We want to ensure that countries in Africa trade with one another because there is a lot we have in the continent, and only if we work together that we can achieve more in terms of general development.
You mentioned earlier how colonialism affected Africa’s growth and development, where it tends to believe that it needs the western world before it succeeds, in what way can African continent overcome this challenge?
It is very important that Africans learn how to take charge of their own decision and not blaming colonialism. We need to get out of that mind-set of thinking that western world is beautiful and better and that Africa can’t succeed without them.
We need to adopt a mentality that says, Africans can do it for themselves, it doesn’t matter if you are a Nigerian, Kenyan, South African, we need to hold hands to deliberate so as to create solutions for the infrastructural decay, the food insecurity, energy problem and all kinds of problems posing as threat to Africa’s development. If we work together with one mind and purpose, we can make a big difference in the continent.
It was discovered that some African leaders make good economic policies but the implementation is poor, what is your take on this?
The continent has gone a long way in putting in place polices, especially economic policies that would create conducive business environment. But in spite of this, there are countries that are lagging behind and if you don’t create a healthy business environment, then the economies of those countries will not grow, and poverty will persist because it’s the people that create jobs and stimulate economic growth.
When an economy grows, you create jobs and eradicate poverty. Government should set the pace and ensure that it provides economic policies that allows business growth, eliminate bureaucracy, corruption, long processes of registering new companies, and create a free and quick environment that allows new businesses to set in and investment in those companies and more importantly protecting those investments.http://www.vanguardngr.com