CAPE TOWN (miningweekly.com) – Africa was entering a phase of becoming the factory of the world, which would require the building of facilitating infrastructure, Credit Suisse Securities chairperson Rick Menell said.
Speaking during a panel discussion at the 2016 Investing in African Mining Indaba, held in Cape Town, Menell outlined how Africa’s large resource base was providing a basis for the continent’s new phase of development, with the physical location of the resources promoting urbanisation.
Moderated by Invest Africa CEO Robert Hersov and including Zambian presidential candidate Hakainde Hichilema and Salinger head Andrew Ballingal, the panel sketched the need for the private sector and the public sector to leverage off Africa’s resources to diversify economically to provide stability during mining cycle downturns.
“This is a unique and quite exciting down cycle. We’re entering a phase where Africa is going to become the factory of the world and to do that we have to build our infrastructure, including information technology infrastructure.
“This time around, policy makers have to use the physical location of the resources to promote the urbanisation,” Menell commented, adding that development was already under way and was accelerating.
Hichilema, known as HH, who will be standing for president in Zambia’s August 11 elections, emphasised the importance of those managing public affairs in Africa ensuring policy stability and predictability.
‘That’s number one in bringing about confidence in building the economy as a whole through diversification,” Hichilema said.
The aspirant president said that Zambia needed to provide a stable, credible operating environment to attract investment and ensure that the country could support the businesses already there.