Industry and exports key elements of expansive growth and employment
This was said in an interview by Managing Director of Old Mutual Africa, Johannes !Gawaxab following his recent attendance at the World Economic Forum last month in Abuja, Nigeria, which he and four other Old Mutual Group executives attended to share their insights on the future of the continent.
!Gawaxab shared his experience at the forum and pointed out that, “Namibia should seriously consider an export-led growth strategy to complement NDP 4 and help achieve its growth aspirations.”
“It is time to create strong local companies which can produce cost-competitive products that can win market share internationally and gain scale of economies,” he added. Said !Gawaxab, “the biggest challenges facing the continent include the fact that Africa is rising with high inequality, and without improving the living conditions of the majority of its citizens and security remains a concern.” He added that the opportunity to advance [the economy] sustainably is to keep in mind the challenges at the same time as plans are made to capitalise on the huge demographic dividend, the strong and growing consumer base, and by investing in ‘impact’ industries such as agriculture, manufacturing, infrastructure development and oil and gas.
!Gawaxab believes the continent is on the march and achieving inclusive growth and creating jobs have become key focus areas.
“The track record of the past ten years in terms of economic growth and job creation has been sterling and the opportunities to change the fortunes of the continent are definitely there for the taking,” he elaborated.
Meanwhile in his interview !Gawaxab reflected on the importance of Africa as a strategic growth area for Old Mutual.
“Old Mutual is intent on ensuring the continued provision of financial solutions that will allow us as Africans to save for the education of our children, protect ourselves, our families and our assets, as well as committing to looking for opportunities to enable access to funding for SME’s.”
“With regard to Old Mutual currently managing the largest portion of the investments of all Namibians, we are committed to getting the balance right in deploying the savings we are mobilising between capital markets and the real economy” he said.
!Gawaxab said Old Mutual can make the most from the growth opportunities that the continent present by the improvement of governance and efficiency in the deployment of capital particularly for the much needed infrastructure development. “The informal sector offers enormous opportunities and we should continue to improve our understanding of and service to the sector,” he said.