Africa offers splendid profit-making opportunities to investors and investors, who missed the current ICT Sector boom must now be gnashing their teeth, World Bank Vice President for Africa Region, Ms Obiageli Ezekwesili has said.
She said the ICT sector in Africa has proven that effective basic service delivery to the poor could be the basis for profit, adding that Africa offered some of the highest rates of return on investments.
Ms Ezekwesili was speaking to Investors, Business Executives, Members of the African Diaspora and Students attending the Seventh Edition of the Columbia University African Economic Forum in New York, a release from the Accra Office of the Bank said on Saturday.
"As Africa rebounds from the global economic crisis with growth forecasted at between 4.
4 and 5.
2 per cent in 2010, opportunities in larger economies seem to be slowing down.
It is a good thing.
Now we can get you home," Ezekwesili told Members of the African Diaspora in attendance.
She said the US$60 billion investments in ICT in Africa was only a signpost of what was possible in other sectors still virgin in Africa, predicting that Africa's development would follow a totally different paradigm from that of other regions on account of the technology factor.
Ms Ezekwesili said cell phones were now aplenty, adding "cell phones have, in fact, become one of the important assets for poor farmers in Kenya and fishermen in Sierra Leone, helping them to gain access to market information, bargain hard for their products, boost their incomes and take advantage of opportunities that would otherwise have past them by".
She said "the emergence of a knowledge economy driven by innovation, ideas, education and technology, once thought remote for Africa, now appears to be unfolding before the ink has dried on gloomy forecasts by Afro-pessimists".
The Vice President of the World Bank said: "All of a sudden, stereotypes, even those once true about Africa, seem increasingly removed from fact.
Publishers are bombarded increasingly with books that speak of Africa as 'a rising development star'; of Africa becoming the new Asia; of Africa as the crucible of future global markets and wealth.
National Geographic Magazine could not have been more accurate when it headlined in September 2005: "Africa; Whatever You Thought, Think Again.