JOHANNESBURG - Businessman Frank Buyanga says he is on a drive to educate young African entrepreneurs to shun “begging for funding” and instead concentrate on creative ideas on how best they can generate value from the resources on the continent.
Buyanga, the executive director for Small Medium Enterprises Strategy for the Pan African Business Forum (PABF), this week said he believes Africans can do more on their own through "strategic thinking.”
The PABF is a private initiative, devised by Africans to accelerate the socio-economic development of the continent, through a combination of carefully considered programmes and projects developed both by Africans locally.
He said the group plans to launch an ambitious $500 billion infrastructure fund for development projects in Africa.
The idea, Buyanga said, was to facilitate regional integration, attract foreign direct investment and create a conducive environment for investors.
“In Africa, we are the authors of the world’s destiny but we don’t know it, Africa today has vast resources ... human capital ... mineral resources. Africans have the best the world has to offer but the only people who don’t know about this are Africans,” surmised Buyanga.
“The only people who are ignorant seem to be African but everyone else seems to know about the wealth in Africa.”
Buyanga also spoke of trade pricing anomalies that he said needed to be looked into. For, example, he said while about 40% of the world's gold comes from South Africa, the country does not regulate the prices of the commodity.
“We are price takers we are not price givers and that in itself is a problem,” said the businessman.
Buyanga said over-dependence was the major hindrance for Africa to progress.
In recent weeks the businessman has offered to assist the new Zimbabwe government to fund and capitalise a Sovereign Wealth Fund, which he said can assist start-ups in that country.
In South Africa, Buyanga’s African Medallion Group (AMG) recently took control of Cape Town-based Pagliari Group, a subsidiary of Rand Refinery, which manufactures and supplies high quality minted products.
The AMG deal with Rand Refinery, the largest integrated single-site precious metals refining and smelting complex in the world, was a new area for the founder Buyanga, who has interests in financial services, mining, and property.
The deal came as AMG has hit the R3.5 billion mark in gold reserves.
- African News Agency (ANA)