A Ghanaian official has called on the African continent to harness the full potential of its critical natural resources and investments from Africans in the diaspora to unlock its prosperity.
Reginald Yofi Grant, chief executive officer of the Ghana Investments Promotion Center, made the call in an interview with Xinhua during the three-day Africa Prosperity Dialogue which ended in Ghana late Saturday.
“Africa right now has no less than 30 percent of the world’s remaining mineral resources, particularly natural resources required to rejuvenate the global economy going forward,” said Grant.
Africa’s rich mineral resources have not been able to attract the needed foreign direct investment (FDI) for its economic development, he said.
“There is a great opportunity. We are resource-rich and rich in human resources but do not have the capital to develop. So, we need to reposition ourselves to leverage our mineral resources to attract capital to develop the continent,” he added.
Grant noted that Africa is rich in a variety of natural resources, including lithium, platinum, chromium, cobalt, and even coal tar, which provide the continent an opportunity in the energy transition to mobilize the kind of capital the continent needs to develop its industries, create wealth and reduce poverty.
“That means we need to attract the kind of investment that will help us to build value on those investments, not just ship out the raw materials, which we all tacitly agree that we should stop doing,” Grant said.
To raise the required capital for Africa’s industrialization, wealth creation, and inclusive growth, the official said Africa should tap into the vast resources available to Africans in the diaspora.
“One of the biggest bridges to global capital is through Africans in the diaspora. Over the past few years, total inward remittances to Ghana from the diaspora topped four billion U.S. dollars,” Grant said.
“That figure is more than what we borrow from the multilateral agencies in a year and much more than we get in FDI in Ghana in a year. So it is significant, and if we invest such resources into production and add value to our resources for export, it would change the color and structure of our economy,” he said.