The Swedish government wants to see an increased collaboration with African countries and send five ministers to the continent. In Nigeria's capital town Abuja, the Swedish finance minister, Anders Borg speaks of the African renaissance. “Europe is old, Africa is young”, says the Swedish minister in an interview with DN.
Africa is showing an astonishing growth rate and there is an increase of companies moving south to invest. The Swedish government is now following the trend as five ministers from Sweden are in different parts of Africa to converge at the World Economic Forum in South Africa later this week. The finance minister said that he pictures agriculture development followed by a thriving industrialism similar to what has happened in Asia. The key to this he says is the level of wages, that have already risen so much in Asia that Africa will appear attractive in the long run but he cautioned that optimism should not proceed to naivety.
Anders Borg continued that there is a lot that needs to be done in areas of transportation system, electricity, etc. where Sweden investors have a lot to offer. For example, the long term pension funds that as of today live with a 2 percent return in Sweden. If Sweden can get a 7 percent return within 20 years through investing in Africa, it would be of benefit to both parties.
He later cautioned that Sweden should not ignore African countries because of their imperfection, as most countries like Sweden in 1850, or Taiwan 1960 and China in 1970 have gone through the same process before things started working out for them.