Godwin Emefiele, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), believes that Africa must fund its own development.
This was stated by Emefiele at the Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) Live Infrastructure Solutions Summit on Thursday in Abuja.
He claimed that Africa had seen several crises in the last two years, each with serious consequences for the continent’s economies.
Dr Kingsley Obiora, Emefiele’s Deputy and AFC Board Chairman, stated the COVID-19 crisis and its lockup sparked recession in most regions of the world.
He claimed that the crisis has given Africa a new sense of urgency about increasing its self-reliance in the manufacturing and processing of basic goods.
He went on to say that the Ukraine issue had economic ramifications for the African continent.
“Clearly, among issues like as inflation, economic growth, conflict, and food and energy shortages, we are at a turning point in history that will affect future generations.”
“Africa must seize this chance.” We owe it to future generations and our children.
“So, what is the best way forward?”
“As governor of the CBN, my route starts with finance.”
“Strengthening Africa’s capacity to finance its own growth is critical to our future.
“However, Africa’s financial needs are increasing and will further increase as our population grows,” Emefiele added.
According to him, the key is to find new domestic and foreign financial sources.
“They’re in pension funds, insurance firms, sovereign wealth funds, and mutual funds.”
“Our capacity to eliminate risks for investors and find straightforward, stable and creditable competitive returns is our sole limitation,” he stated.
The CBN boss went on to say that the apex bank had played a key role in investment and resource mobilization in the past, using the AFC as an example.
He stated that the CBN initially invested $500 million in AFC and that 15 years later, the collaboration had a balance sheet of over $10 billion in 35 countries.
Under Vice President Yemi Osinbajo’s leadership, the CBN and the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority announced the Infrastructure Corporation of Nigeria in 2021.
He defined it as a world-class infrastructure development vehicle aimed at meeting Nigeria’s annual infrastructure demands of $100 billion.
The AFC’s fundamental purpose, according to Emefiele, is to help Africa solve its infrastructure gap, create prosperity and jobs for the youth, and finally overcome past development problems.
Climate change is an inextricable aspect of AFC’s strategy, from building infrastructure that can withstand extreme weather to developing ecosystems that can focus on future sectors like electric vehicles and renewable energy.
“At the same time, AFC is committed to addressing Africa’s energy imbalance, which stifles its development and possibilities,” he stated.
He stated that, in addition to renewable energy, natural gas must be a critical component of Africa’s energy policy solution.
“We operate in an increasingly complex, demanding, and competitive global economic climate,” he said.
“We all have a role to play in obtaining funds from both domestic and international sources and ensuring that this money is deployed efficiently and quickly enough to enable double-digit growth.”
“When it comes to African initiatives, investors should be afraid of missing out.
“Missing out on financial rewards and the opportunity to have a larger social and environmental positive effect anywhere feasible.”
He urged African governments, central banks, business leaders, and investors to band together and be more ambitious in their “aspirations and support our continental champions and institutions like the African Football Confederation.”
Emefiele remarked, “Let us be bold in our objectives, steadfast and urgent in our implementation.”