Banks urged to finance good business proposals

Availing finance to investors with good business proposals is the only way African countries will be able to develop their economies, Phillips Oduoza, the United Bank for Africa Group managing director, has said.

Availing finance to investors with good business proposals is the only way African countries will be able to develop their economies, Phillips Oduoza, the United Bank for Africa Group managing director, has said.

“Good business ideas should not suffer because of lack of capital… It’s our primary role as banks to finance people with great investment ideas to develop them and create jobs and more revenue streams to boost our economies,” Oduaza said during his recent visit to the country.

He noted that lot of entrepreneurs still can’t access funding despite having good business ideas. He observed that this was not good for the continent as it was losing innovations that would have helped propel its development agenda.  Meanwhile, Tony Elumelu, the Africa Exchange Holdings (Afex) chairperson, has urged those looking to invest in the continent to align their policies and investment with an economic philosophy he called ‘Africapitalism’.

“Africa’s economic history has been characterised by the extractive industries and rent-seeking practices that have not created the desired development. Adopting the ‘Africapitalism’ principle would mean a better and more ethical way to invest in Africa to guarantee a sustainable future for the continent,” Elumelu, who is an advocate of the ‘Africapitalism’ philosophy, said.

“I would like to see African and international investors review their strategies for the continent. We are open for business, but not at any cost. Our rules of engagement have changed,” Elumelu said.

According to Ernst & Young’s Attractiveness survey 2013, six of the 10 fastest growing economies in the world between 2001 and 2010, were in Africa.

The International Monitory Fund recent forecast indicates that 11 of the world’s 20 fastest-growing economies through 2017 will come from Africa. However, the report also notes that several states remain fragile despite the progress of many others. “There continue to be failures…investment flows in Africa remain relatively small compared with other regions and often concentrated in sectors that do not have a sufficient job-creating impact,” said Jean Louis Warnholz, the Fast Africa co- founder and managing director.

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