The President of Dangote Group, Mr Aliko Dangote, has urged African countries to dismantle all barriers hindering free trade among them to achieve sustainable growth and development across the continent.
Dangote gave the advice at a launch of a special publication, The World Ahead 2023, by The Economist, a media outfit, according to a statement on Monday in Lagos.
The statement was issued by Mr Anthony Chiejina, the Group Chief Corporate Communications and Branding Officer of Dangote Group.
Dangote, represented at the launch by the Group Executive Director, Dangote Industries Ltd., Dr Adenike Fajemirokun, expressed the commitment of the pan-African conglomerate to tackling some economic challenges faced by the continent.
He said that, to realise the goal, the organisation had committed over 20 billion dollars on investments in several key sectors of the African economy.
The massive investments, he said, were meant to turn around Africa’s economic fortunes in its quest for sustained economic growth through free trade and economic integration.
“Our massive investments of over 20 billion dollars are across key industries, including energy, agriculture and infrastructure.
“Our recently-commissioned three million metric tonnes’ fertiliser plant, expansions in cement production, and 650,000bpd world’s largest single-train refinery, are all set to empower farmers and foster integration.
“These investments would create thousands of jobs, eliminate our dependence on imported products and improve our nation’s foreign exchange earnings significantly, ” he said.
Dangote also said that the conglomerate was confronting environmental issues through investment in alternative fuels as well as unlocking enormous opportunities in communities where it operated.
Dangote said that issues being faced globally such as rising energy cost, inflation and food insecurity called for an objective rethink.
He said that the issues were vastly affected policy execution and ease of doing business in more vulnerable economies.
According to him, overarching conversations at global or regional levels must be re-focused toward exploring the specifics of the fast-changing world.
He praised The Economist for the launched publication, describing it as a rich body of work that offered useful data for all sectors to draw insights from.
In his remarks, Lagos State Deputy Governor, Dr Hazmat Obafemi, described the publication as a valuable document for policymakers and strategic planners.
Obafemi said that its contents reaffirmed part of the strategies that Lagos State Government executed to make the state the preferred destination for investors.
“Lagos is Africa’s fastest growing economy, and a key policy of the state government is to improve its investment profile by providing an enabling environment.
“The state has invested billions of Naira in infrastructure and technology, and the Lekki Deep Seaport is one of the enablers which made Lagos to attract 60 per cent of the foreign direct investment into Nigeria,” he said.