Africa is still a continent that is growing. The continent is always said to be having great potential with a lot of wealth not yet tapped into and yet lagging in terms of development. Africa needs to catch up with the rest of the world as changes are taking place. The fourth industrial revolution is coming changing the ways business is being done, the population of the world is growing and new innovations are being created and Africa has to catch up on all this.
As the world is changing one question for Africa is what are the new wealth generators in Africa.Forbes Africa asked the Africa Development Bank (AfDB) president Akinwumi Adesina “What are the new wealth generators in Africa?” Adesina listed two things ICT and the food and agriculture industry.
“If you look at where the money is going in Africa, it’s not actually going into oil, gas and natural resources,” said. “Most of the foreign direct investment (FDI) is going into the service industry, at least 64%, and also the financial services sector; maybe about 27% goes into the manufacturing sector.”
“So these are the big sectors where you see a lot of FDI. But there are two sectors very important for me.”
Adesina said ICT will be the driver of the economy.
“It’s very important for countries to invest heavily in the ICT industry to give their countries the platforms they need in the knowledge economy,” Adesina said.
ICT is very important considering the fourth industrial technology that is already taking place around the world. The Fourth Industrial Revolution is based on the use of ICT as it includes Internet of Things (IoT), robotics, virtual reality (VR) and artificial intelligence (AI) all which require ICT
The sector of ICT is also important as the world is in the information age where there is a lot of information sharing through technologies such as computers and the internet.
On food and agriculture Adesina said the industry will be a $1 trillion by 2030 in Africa.
“Africa has a lot of oil and gas, but nobody drinks oil, nobody smokes the gas,” Adesina said. “Food is the future.”
“The size of the food and agriculture industry in Africa is going to be $1 trillion by 2030 in Africa. This is where the wealth is supposed to come from.”
“Unfortunately, in Africa, we always walk past gold. Just imagine you are seeing gold, and you see it as dirt and don’t recognize it. That’s the power agriculture has…”
Adesina said food is the biggest business.
“Agriculture is not a development sector, it’s not a social sector, it’s a wealth-creating sector. Agriculture is a business and Africa needs to fully unlock that potential,” AFDB president said.
“If you look at the amount of arable land left to feed nine billion people in the world by 2050, it is not in Europe, Latin America, Asia, or the US, it’s in Africa–65% is right here.”
“What Africa does with agriculture will determine the future of food for the world.”