Making Africa more investor-friendly

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African countries have been told to speed up the process of economic reforms in order to attract more investors into the continent and create conducive environment for doing business, according to a World bank senior economist for Africa, Steven R. Dimitriyev.

“I think the road taking to economy reforms is the correct one, it is just that it is going slow and more can be done especially in Nigeria,” Dimitriyev said.

He was speaking against the background of the “World Bank 2008 Doing Business” report released Last week.

Though the report placed three African countries – Egypt, Ghana and Kenya -among the 10 top leading reformers of the 178 economies surveyed. Nigeria was placed a distant 108.

The economic expert believed it is not yet Uhuru given the abundant resources the continent has, stressing that more can still be achieved.

“There are some good examples of African countries having finally realised that this (reforms) is the key to establishing a good environment for growth and development but there is still a long way to go,” he added.

The economic expert noted “if Nigeria can overcome its various problems, the objective of being among the top 20 economies by 2020 can be achieved,”

“Absolutely yes, taking the right steps, Nigerians just need to work harder, there is a lot of interest for investors to come here even now. But I think there is still a lot more work for improvement in the investment climate,” he said.

He added that African countries must create a condusive environment for doing business and attract investors.

“If you look at the business of environment from the investors’ perspective, in terms of how the bureaucracy works, the different types of taxations put in place, state of infrastructure, level of transparency, what it required to set up and operate businesses, these are the major concern of investors,” the expert said.

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