Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala: How to help Africa? Do business there | Summary and Q&A

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Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala: How to help Africa? Do business there


This talk highlights the lesser-known side of Africa, where there is progress, reform, and opportunities for economic growth and investment.

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Key Insights

  • 🌍 Africa is changing and offers opportunities for partnership and development, contrary to the common perception of poverty and conflict.
  • 🔓 People in Africa are no longer willing to tolerate corruption from their leaders, and there are efforts to fight and reduce corruption in many countries.
  • 💵 Successfully recovering stolen assets from abroad could have a significant positive impact on developing countries, potentially surpassing the impact of aid.
  • 📈 African countries are taking charge of their own destinies and implementing reforms to improve governance, manage finances, and diversify their economies.
  • 💡 Once the macro-economy is stable, various sectors such as agriculture, telecommunications, real estate, and financial services offer immense investment opportunities in Africa.
  • 🌍 Africa is experiencing a new wave of openness and democratization, with many countries holding multi-party democratic elections and a decrease in conflicts.
  • 💼 Investing in job creation is the best way to help Africans stand on their own feet and improve their lives, with African women being particularly capable and diligent.
  • 💰 Capital investment in African businesses, often overlooked, can have a significant impact on both economic growth and social development in the continent.


Thank you very much, Chris. Everybody who came up here said they were scared. I don't know if I'm scared, but this is my first time of addressing an audience like this. And I don't have any smart technology for you to look at. There are no slides, so you'll just have to be content with me. (Laughter) What I want to do this morning is share with you... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: How are African countries fighting corruption and improving governance?

African countries are actively taking steps to combat corruption and enhance governance. The speaker mentions the example of Nigeria, where there have been impeachments and prosecutions of corrupt leaders. Independent monitoring by organizations like the World Bank has shown a downward trend in corruption in many African countries. However, there is still work to be done, especially in countries with a history of dictatorship.

Q: What opportunities exist for investment in Africa?

Africa offers a range of investment opportunities in sectors such as telecommunications, construction, real estate, financial services, agriculture, and tourism. The speaker highlights the success of the telecommunications sector in Nigeria, which experienced significant growth after liberalization. The country's large population and untapped resources create favorable conditions for investment.

Q: How are African countries diversifying their economies?

African countries, including Nigeria, are actively working on diversifying their economies to reduce dependence on a single sector like oil. The speaker mentions opportunities in agriculture, solid minerals, housing, and financial services. Reforms such as privatization, liberalization, and proper management of finances have contributed to the growth of non-oil sectors and greater economic stability.

Q: What role do women play in African businesses?

Women play a crucial role in African businesses and have shown tremendous resilience and creativity. The speaker highlights the success stories of women entrepreneurs like Adenike Ogunlesi and Beatrice Gakuba, who have built successful businesses and created employment opportunities. Supporting women-owned businesses can have a significant impact on poverty reduction and economic growth in Africa.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • The speaker shares a story about Nigerian governor, Mr. Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, who was held accountable and impeached for corruption, reflecting a growing intolerance for corruption in Africa.

  • The speaker discusses the reforms and strategies implemented in Nigeria to improve governance, manage finances better, and diversify the economy, leading to measurable results and opportunities in sectors like telecommunications, construction, real estate, and financial services.

  • The talk emphasizes the need for investment in Africa, particularly in job creation and supporting women-owned businesses, to help Africans stand on their own feet and create a prosperous future.

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