To effectively resolve the chronic problems of poverty and allied issues in the continent, African leaders must focus on inclusive economic growth, President Goodluck Jonathan has said.
Jonathan stated this during a televised debate at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
He claimed that his administration was already doing a lot to enhance inclusive growth in Nigeria through policies and programmes that focus on wealth creation rather than poverty alleviation.
Asked to rank the current importance of inclusive growth in Africa on a scale of one to ten, President Jonathan and all the other participants in the debate which had “Africa’s Next Billion” as its theme agreed that it deserved a ranking of ten.
Jonathan said, “Economic inclusion is very important and we are already taking necessary steps to improve financial inclusion in our country. Transforming our agricultural sector is one way in which we are doing so. We are doing all that we can to transform agriculture in Nigeria into a much more productive and job creating sector. We are also working to create more inclusive wealth through better education, skills acquisition programmes and policies that encourage the addition of value to our primary products before exportation”.
The President explained further that with Africa’s population projected to exceed two billion persons by the year 2050, wealth creation and job creation must remain at the top of the continent’s developmental agenda.
President Jonathan, President John Mahama of Ghana, Alhaji Aliko Dangote and other participants in the debate agreed that the objective of achieving more inclusive economic growth will be better served if African leaders took more positive action towards boosting intra-African trade, saying that the current situation in which only eleven per cent of Africa’s total trade takes place within the continent is unacceptable.
The President said that African leaders must do everything possible to remove all impediments to trade amongst African countries including inadequate air and ground transportation links between their countries.