In a filled up room at the headquarters of global law firm Shearman and Sterling LLC, Nigerian entrepreneur and business leader, Aliko Dangote told investors: “Agriculture, agriculture, agriculture.
Africa will become the food basket of the world.” High-level business leaders and international diplomats were invited by the Corporate Council for Africa to hear Aliko Dangote, and Rwandan president Paul Kagame, openly converse on Africa’s opportunities and challenges.
Both leaders emphasized the ongoing movement to expand African economies.
In the case of Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, Dangote stated, “we should pray that oil prices reduced.
This helps wean us off the dependency on income from petroleum. We must take oil to be the icing on the cake. We already have the cake,” he added.
In addition to agriculture, Dangote cited Nigeria’s huge mineral resources and gas as well and the need to produced more goods locally for domestic use.
Both of them cited the continued need for heavy investments in education and connected the need for young people to be well trained for the jobs of tomorrow.
Dangote predicted that “five of the twelve million jobs needed in Africa soon must be created in Nigeria.”
Dangote has expanded into fertilizer and other processed high-value goods.
“Technology, of course, helps us a lot and our factories are state of the art with the use of robotics but we shouldn’t be overly tech-oriented to create wealth,” he told investors.
Dangote who is said to be one of the most motivated business leaders in the world today and a role model for young entrepreneurs offered advice to Americans who tend to rely on outdated news and wrong insight of Africa, “Don’t be lazy.
Go there and find the real story for yourself.
Things have changed.”
Dangote quote the Rwanda success story as great change, good governance and leadership, and where corruption has been rectify.
President Kagame was praised for delivering the environment for growth he promised. ” Corruption have nothing to do with African,” the Rwandan president added.
The meeting was preside by Rosa Whitaker, former United State Trade Representative and author of the AGOA (African Growth Opportunity Act), whose business consultancy is credited for helping both African governments and US companies develop commerce.