The Chairman, Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc, Mr. Atedo Peterside, has said that with consistent improvement in political governance, an expanding middle class, huge consumer market and economic growth rates averaging five per cent in the last decade, investors can no longer overlook the business opportunities in Africa.
A statement from the bank quoted Peterside as saying this at the ongoing Africa Leaders’ Summit in Washington DC, United States.
According to him, going by the changes that have taken place, the current spotlight on the continent is well deserved.
He said, “People are coming to Africa generally to invest and to share in this last frontier where they expect rapid growth.
“If the British and the French were the first to come, as Africa has become more important and looks like a new favoured destination, other Western powers obviously want to accelerate their entrance into the game and get to the forefront. That is why you see the Chinese have made their presence felt.
For the continent to make the most of the interest and opportunities it has, Peterside said good governance was vital. He, therefore, called on African leaders to create a competitive environment to attract investment to their respective countries.
He said, “I try and look at the big picture generally and the big picture is to improve governance in Africa generally; to improve the economic policy direction.
“When you take all those big steps, each country will find its own way to operate in a particular sector and even if one country does not have the best domestic policies to attract a particular investment, then, perhaps, they will move instead to a neighbouring country.”
The statement added that Peterside had stressed that Stanbic IBTC and the Standard Bank Group, its parent company, were willing to help the country to achieve its economic goals by providing the financing needed to boost critical sectors of the economy.
He said, “The future holds great promise for all stakeholders as the Stanbic IBTC Group continues to seek opportunities in strategic sectors of the economy to grow its business in line with its future growth strategy.
“We understand that our long-term sustainability is dependent on the consistent provision of excellent service to our clients and we are committed to ensuring that their needs are met. Meeting the needs and expectations of our clients will remain our main priority.”