, ,

#Davos2017: 12 Insightful Quotes From African Representatives

Africa plays a key part in these discussions, with politicians, business people and others with an interest in Africa’s economic future making their way to the gathering in order to contribute to various discussions.


Last week Davos 2017 took place in Switzerland, with the annual week-long World Economic Forum meeting bringing together the world’s economic elite to discuss global issues and solutions to challenges that face the world at large.

Here are 12 insightful quotes from African representatives who were present at Davos 2017.

1. Tony Elumelu – Nigerian economist, banker and investor

African Business Leaders

“Africapitalism is the realisation that the private sector, especially in Africa, has a key role to play in developing our continent and this can be done, even though we are not in government, through investment. The power we have is the power to make investment decisions that can help us to catalyse the African economy, create economic prosperity and create social benefits for everyone.”

2. Cyril Ramaphosa – South Africa deputy president

“Now you can only be seen as a growth market if you are part of the globalised world and we would be saying that all of us need to embrace globalisation with all the challenges and difficulties it gives rise to. It’s a big, wide ocean and all of us have got to learn to swim in that ocean.”

3. Mohammed Dewji – President and CEO of Tanzanian company, MeTL Group

Tanzania's Richest Man

“Africa is home to seven of the 10 fastest-growing economies in the world, and despite the pre-conceived ideas of a continent forever plagued by disease, war and turmoil, it is rapidly becoming one of the most desirable investment destinations.”

4. Lesetja Kganyago – South African Reserve Bank Governor

“There is no doubt that 2017 will be better than 2016, as the global economy is stronger than last year. There is also a sense that the efforts that we put together as a country last year are beginning to yield fruit, and this has at the very least taken care of the negative sentiment.”

5. Yemi Osinbajo – Nigerian vice president

African countries need to trade more among themselves

“In terms of the size of the economy, I think Nigeria remains possibly the largest country in Africa in terms of the size of the economy. We have developed a national economic recovery and growth plan, which is to be launched shortly, and that comes with the 2017 budget.”

6. Paul Kagame – President of Rwanda

3rd Kagame Term

“We have to accept the fact that the private sector holds huge resources that could be deployed together with the government for the benefit of infrastructure whether it is energy, transport, IT, telecoms and so forth. But government has to make sure we put in place policies that work to encourage investments and partnerships to happen.”

7. Phuthuma Nhleko – Executive chairman of MTN

MTN Chief Executive Phuthuma Nhleko. Photo: Jozi Gist

“Intra-African trade is still at a dismally low percentage. And for that to increase, I’m afraid there’s going to be a choice on how much sovereignty a certain state wants to retain ad to what extent they have a vision of making things, more, more and more bordless.”

8. Pravin Gordhan – South African Finance Minister

Avoiding A Ratings Downgrade

“South Africa, interestingly, is in a much better place than others in that the country doesn’t experience the same degree of geopolitical risk. The rand at the current level has been good. It’s brought in millions more tourists into South Africa and has to some extent also helped exports.”

9. Hailemariam Desalegn – Ethiopian Prime Minister

“Creating more jobs by modernising the agriculture sector is the first focus area. The discussion with companies that are desirous to engage in the agriculture sector was concluded with agreement to support agricultural transformation in the country (Ethiopia).”

10. Jeff Radebe – South African Minister in the Presidency

Jeff Radebe is the minister in the presidency in South Africa. Photo: Alchetron

“There’s more positivity towards South Africa and a lot of confidence that things are turning for the better, so we believe that as Team SA, our message that South Africa is open for business is resonating very well.”

11.Tony Elumelu – Nigerian economist, banker and investor

“I believe in entrepreneurship and what I see in the faces of the young Africans who I interact with is these are energetic people, highly enterprising, very brilliant people and people who don’t want to take no for an answer, and people who want to succeed.”

12. Cyril Ramaphosa – South Africa deputy president

World Economic Forum 2017

“The important thing is that the basic foundations of our country – which are the Constitution and the institutions that support our democracy – remain in place and they are going to make sure that they absorb the shocks and they keep the country on an even keel. This country is not going to slide left or right, it’s going to keep on the straight and narrow until it delivers the progress that our people want to see.”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *