By Bloomberg Antony Sguazzin, Farah Elbahrawy and Abeer Abu Omar
Africa’s very young population presents “great investment potential,” said Roberta Annan, co-founder of the Impact Fund for African Creatives. Governments need to provide grants, opportunities and access to capital for the youth, which can help reduce risk and persuade the private sector to co-invest with them, Annan said at the Bloomberg New Economy Africa Gateway in Marrakesh, Morocco, on Wednesday.
Developments in green technology, fintech and farming innovation are emerging as the biggest job creators in Africa and globally, Brian Tippens, senior vice president and chief social impact officer at Cisco Systems Inc., said at the forum.
Africa’s Forests Key to Slowing Global Warming (June 13, 6:05 p.m.)
Africa, home to the vast Congo Basin tropical forest and almost a quarter of the world’s mangroves, needs to monetize its trees to help slow global warming, the head of AFC Capital Partners said.
Forests absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, mitigating against the effects of greenhouse gases by creating so-called carbon sinks. Not enough has been done to monetize their natural assets, Chief Executive Officer Ayaan Zeinab Adam said in an interview Tuesday at the Bloomberg New Economy Gateway Africa forum in Marrakesh, Morocco.
“When you look at Africa and say what’s the biggest bang for your buck on mitigation, it’s really not energy because we are energy starved. It’s our forest, mangroves,” she said.
The forum, which brings together leaders from the public and private sectors, continues Wednesday. Panels with delegates from the continent and beyond will discuss issues including Africa’s financial-technology potential, food security and climate adaptation and mitigation.
Read more: Africa Needs to Monetize Its Trees to Help World Reach Net Zero
Morocco Sees Post-Gray List Boost (June 13, 6 p.m.)
Morocco’s removal from the Financial Action Task Force’s so-called gray list in February will “definitely” make it easier and cheaper to raise debt, Finance and Economy Minister Nadia Fettah Alaoui told the forum. Countries are included on the list due to shortcomings in tackling money laundering and terrorist financing, and are subjected to greater oversight.
Investors have already rewarded Morocco for what Alaoui termed the strong reforms it has enacted and its medium-term agend, she said. Among the steps it has taken is expanding access to social welfare in a country with a large informal economy.
“The moment they see that they can benefit from social security and go to hospital they definitely are willing to pay for their own taxes,” she said.
African Health Care in Spotlight (June 13, 6 p.m.)
Afsane Jetha, co-founder and chief executive officer of Alta Semper Capital told the forum he sees an “incredible opportunity” to invest in health care in Africa as governments realize the importance of health security following the Covid-19 pandemic.
Lamia Tazi, the CEO and chairwoman of Sothema de Therapeutique Marocaine, a Moroccan pharmaceutical company, sees a lack of intellectual property protection as one of the main barriers to developing vaccines and other pharmaceutical products in Africa.
Viraj Rajadhyaksha, area medical director of Middle East and Africa at AstraZeneca Plc, highlighted the importance of developing testing laboratories and other health-care infrastructure within Africa, rather than relying on resources from abroad.
IMF Sees Zambia Deal Soon (June 13, 5:04 p.m.)
Zambia’s creditors are close to agreeing to a long-awaited debt restructuring deal that will allow the International Monetary Fund to disburse $188 million to the distressed African nation.
“We’ve had initial agreements to provide financing assurances so the IMF can proceed with providing financing with Zambia,” Abebe Aemro Selassie, director of the fund’s African Department, said during a panel discussion at the forum.
Read more: Zambia’s Creditors Close to Debt Restructuring Deal, IMF Says
–With assistance from Matthew Hill, Jennifer Zabasajja, Mike Cohen, Amogelang Mbatha, Souhail Karam and Janice Kew.
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