PS: Angola, Marocco, Sudan and Kenya will follow, most likely together with Ghana and Senegal!June 24th, 2007
Nigeria, in spite of corruption in high and low places, remains a major pillar of Africa’s economy, moving alongside South Africa, Algeria and Egypt, and accounting for half of Africa’s exports, trade and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).
Louis Kasekende, chief economist, African Development Bank, disclosed this recently at the Nigeria International Conference on Financial Sector Strategy in Abuja.
Kasekende said these countries altogether have a total reserve of $175-billion, while Nigeria and Algeria alone have $130-billion in foreign reserves, which is equivalent to half of their Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
These four countries are now commonly known as SANE – South Africa, Algeria, Nigeria and Egypt.
This group, Kasekende said had the potential to contribute to the capital for the development of the rest of Africa.
To this end, he said, it is necessary to have strong SANE financial markets to bring strong benefits to the rest of the continent so as to prevent a negative contagious effect.
In strengthening the African financial sector for economic growth, he said there should be proper sequencing of financial sector reforms guided by national outlook, strengthening rural access to financial services and developing long-term financing options as well as improving financial services, technology and infrastructure to promote efficiency through real-time funds transfer. Also, there is the need to improve monetary policy management and bank supervision.
Others include boosting domestic savings mobilisation to support investment, restructuring and reforming pension system, promoting long-term financing, developing capital markets, strengthening corporate governance in financial institutions and supporting financial reforms, land and company registries, credit reference bureaus, and commercial courts.