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Fulfilling Dangote’s prophesy

21 September 2017 at 21:32 | 924 views

Commentary

By Tamba Jean-Matthew III, Dakar, Senegal.

Take it or leave it, Aliko Dangote’s words will come to pass: "Africa will become the food basket of the world!"

Africa’s richest businessman made the statement this week on the sidelines of the ongoing UN General Assembly in New York.

But many analysts quickly lashed out against the global law firm Shearman and Sterling LLC for inviting Dangoté and controversial Paul Kagamé to stand shoulder to shoulder to speak.

The reason for the critics’ bitterness is obvious: “the world or Africa no longer wants the likes of Kagamé who has no presidential term limit!

But much of what was discussed at the forum was taken from Dangoté.

His prophesy that Africa will be the food basket of the world means, any African government or individual farmers cashing in on agriculture should be taken seriously and supported.

African soils are still rich and water resources are still abundant – the recipe for successful farming.

In other words, Dangote is saying that African countries should allocate at least 20 percent of their GDP to agriculture for African countries to be self-sufficient and feed the world.

In addition to agriculture, Dangote cited Nigeria’s vast mineral resources and gas as well and the need to manufacture more goods locally for domestic consumption.

Sierra Leone and other African governments should take this seriously because there is wisdom and a future for African youths in Dangote’s utterances.

Dangote’s fortune, which stems from cement, sugar and other household commodities, has expanded into fertilizer and other processed high-value goods.

The session was moderated by Rosa Whitaker, former US Trade Representative and author of the AGOA (African Growth Opportunity Act).

Whitaker’ business consultancy is credited for helping both African governments and US companies develop commerce.

This is an invitation to African governments and policy makers to seize the opportunity offered by the Whitaker’s business consultancy to make food self-sufficiency and Africa feeding the world a reality.

The author, Tamba Jean-Matthew III

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