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VENTURES AFRICA – Nigeria has disclosed plans to use the World Economic Forum on Africa (WEF) in 2014 as a platform to lure more Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into the country.
This was revealed by the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, during a world press launch of the 24th WEF on Africa, which is billed for May next year and will be hosted by Nigeria.
According to her, the forum will serve as a significant hub for foreigners to see the opportunities Nigeria presents for investors keen on private sector partnerships and investments.
The event would be an avenue for the country to showcase its vast economic opportunities to the world and deepen conversations around economic reforms between the international and local stakeholders, she added.
Despite critical socio-economic challenges such as insecurity in the Northern region, Nigeria still remains the highest recipient of FDIs in Africa, with over $20 billion in the last three years alone, Business Day reported.
Nigeria has maintained a relative macroeconomic stability and remained an investment haven, despite the societal challenges the country constantly grapples with.
“Investors are very savvy, you can’t deceive them. They vote with both their money and feet…investments in the North can and do take place and are taking place in the rest of Nigeria,” the Minister emphasized.
The World Economic Forum on Africa is one of the regional meetings held annually by the World Economic Forum, a Swiss non-profit foundation based in Geneva, Switzerland dedicated to improving the state of the world by fostering collaboration between businesses, governments and the civil society.
It currently attracts top ranking participants, including heads of governments and statesmen, CEOs of global firms, leading financiers and policy development technocrats from over 80 countries.
Okonjo-Iweala pointed that the choice of Nigeria as the next host of the global event was a product of increased confidence in the country, resulting from successes on economic reforms, increased private sector investment and improved investment conditions.
Only three African countries have so far hosted the event; South Africa, Tanzania and Ethiopia.