Former Finance Minister Felix Mutati has observed the need for African Governments to deal with challenges stopping the growth of Small African entrepreneurs.
Speaking on the Sidelines of the Africa 2018 Summit themed “Business for Africa and the World” in Sharm el sheikh, Egypt, Mr Mutati said the young entrepreneurs are telling Governments in Africa that they have the determination, innovation and the right ideas to grow Africa.
Mr Mutati says governments should facilitate by dealing with the challenges they face in growing their businesses.
He said young entrepreneurs are fatigued with the African Governments only signing trade agreements and want them to move a step further towards practical implementations of the said trade agreements.
Mr Mutati who has held several government portfolios including that of Minister of Commerce Trade and Industry and also minister of Finance said Africans should first trade among themselves before looking outside Africa for partnership, as Transafrican trade was as low as 9% the lowest compared to other continents.
“Young Entrepreneurs are saying to us that they have the determination, the innovation and the idea’s but that they need governments to lower the barriers to access and the cost of capital. They need governments to create capacity in skills and technology as well as open new markets, young entrepreneurs are fatigued with governments merely signing agreements but not making things happen. All this gives me the inspiration that there is hope for Africa if we invest in the entrepreneurs, for Zambia I think we should join hands with the rest of Africa,” he said.
And Mr Mutati said there is a need for a paradigm shift as regards the work ethics and attitudes as the answers to the challenges faced by the continent cannot come from outside but from within.
“The answers to our challenges are right in our hands, in our work ethics, in our actions, in having a paradigm shift in the mindsets. Let’s not ask what others will do for us, let’s start from inside and do it ourselves. It is possible, as the opportunities are immense,” he said.
Mutati further explained that there is a need for regional integration models signed in Kigali to translate into actions.
“The message from the African leaders is very clear, that the starting point for the liberation and growth of African trade is for Africa to trade with each other, for Africa to invest in each other, for Africa to connect with each other as countries using the regional integration model under COMESA, SADC and the East African Community as a starting point,” said Mr. Mutati.
Mr Mutati is in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt at the invitation of the Egyptian government for the second time as a speaker at the Africa 2018 Summit, his first invite being at the inaugural conference/summit in 2015.