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Invest in Africa’s biggest free trade bloc- Zuma
May 8, 2013, 9:35 am


South African President Jacob Zuma (left) and his Nigerian counterpart Goodluck Jonathan [GCIS]

South African President Jacob Zuma has encouraged investors to do business in the fast-growing African continent.

“We urge you to invest in the continent, and more directly, in South Africa and Nigeria, and boost African growth and development while obtaining returns on your investment,” said President Zuma.

He was addressing the South Africa-Nigeria Business Forum in Cape Town on Tuesday.

The president said the South African Reserve Bank had over the last few years approved nearly a thousand “large investments” into 36 African countries.

The African country has put a number of measures in place to support outward investments by local companies, including the relaxation of cross-border financial regulations and tax requirements, Zuma noted.

South Africa has projected itself as the gateway to the African continent.

“Over the last decade, six of the world’s 10 fastest growing economies were in Africa,” Zuma said yesterday, and sub-Saharan Africa, with an expected annual growth of five per cent, was projected to continue its move from a developing region to a hub of global growth.

The process of establishing a continental free trade area – bringing together the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, the Southern African Development Community and the East African Community – “should encourage the business sector to look even more favourably within the continent for investments”, Zuma said.

“This will be Africa’s biggest free trade bloc, with a single continent-wide market estimated to be worth a trillion US dollars. The 26 African countries involved have an aggregate GDP of $860 billion and a combined population of 600 million people,” Zuma noted.

The BRICS Post