Britain lags behind BRICs in African race, warns former Nigeria president Olusegun Obasanjo
19 March 2012
Telegraph - March 18, 2012
In an interview with The Telegraph, he warned Britain was so focused on opportunities in China and India that it was missing out on the world’s hidden growth story. If it does not wake up to Africa’s rapid development, Brazil and China could replace the City of London as the continent’s main source of finance capital, he said.
Mr Obasanjo was speaking as head of a trade delegation to India, some of whose leading companies have invested heavily in Africa’s energy, power, steel and agriculture sectors in the past five years.
He pointed to sub-Saharan Africa’s 5.5pc growth this year and predicted foreign direct investment of more than $150bn (£95bn) by 2015. He said he feared Britain may not get its share of the spoils if it does not wake up to the scale of opportunity.
“The fact is that in the past three days or so the Brazilian economy has overtaken the UK economy. The Chinese are so aggressive in Africa and the Indians are now following suit. The Brazilians are not too far behind. Are countries like the UK doing enough? Having had the advantage of being the colonial master, they can do more than they are doing,” he said.
Mr Obasanjo said he believes Britain could claim a much greater share of Africa’s finance, energy, consumer and agriculture markets, but was too focused on other markets.