The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) will buoy investment opportunities in Nigeria and Africa post Covid- 19, Philip Ikeazor, Director, Greenwich Merchant Bank, has said. Ikeazor, who is also the former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Keystone Bank Limited, disclosed this at the weekend in his presentation entitled, ”Growth Sectors and Investment Opportunities in Africa Post Pandemic” at the CranfieldNigeriaAlumnivirtual business webinar. He said: “There are tremendous opportunities in agriculture for export, mining, healthcare, ICT/datastorage/ cloud infrastructure, retail & logistics and others.” He called on African leaders to create the enabling environment for investments to be attractive and thrive in the continent. “Investments will be attractive in countries that have passed reforms to make establishing and doing business easy,” he noted.
Ikeazor said political will from African leaders is the only thing that would make AfCFTA succeed fully. He added that: “The countries should jointly invest to bridge the infrastructure gap. He wondered why there are no railways running across West Africa or power transmission lines to carry excess power generation to other regions. Intra Africa trade is only 15 percent compared to the trade within the EU at 60 percent.” According to him, legal systems will have to be strengthenedtoattractinvestments and make businesses successful. “Focus on export is key for emerging economies if they intend to improve currency exchange rates, which is ultimately about balance of trade payments,” he added. Ikeazor explained that improved infrastructure and legal systems/efficient foreclosure laws will encourage more investments in the finance and insurance industries to support access to finance for vibrant African entrepreneurs.