The Director General of Consumer Protection Council (CPC), Babatunde Irukera, has said that consumer spending across Africa will rise from $1.4 trillion in 2015 to about $2.1 trillion by 2025.

Irukera made the comment during his recent presentation at the Africa Policy Forum of the Leeds University Centre of Africa Studies (LUCAS) of University of Leeds.

This growth, he said, is driven by key factors such as a young and growing population, rise in incomes, rapid urbanization and widespread adoption of technology.

Irukera therefore called for the prioritisation of robust regulation and stronger competition policies as a core strategy in the quest for Africa’s economic renaissance in a changing world.

Describing Africa’s market as its greatest economic asset, Irukera advocated for the implementation of simple widely acknowledged principles of asset management and strategies to maximize the benefits from markets in order to overcome poverty and achieve significant economic growth.

He noted that “asset management essentially refers to a systematic approach to governance and realization of value.”

Irukera cited statistics to underscore the burgeoning population which is driving the growing expansion and importance of its market as including 16% of global population (1.2 billion) living in Africa; more than half of global population growth between now and 2050 expected to occur in Africa; and Africa’s population to reach 2.5 billion by 2050 (more than double its current population).

He said: “Considering population and age, it is clear that Africa’s greatest assets are its people and skills. Sadly they are also our greatest export.

“Africans are key applicants to nations with skills acquisition immigration policies which focus on highly skilled migrants. Whether it’s USA, Canada or UK, essentially these countries benefit from people who have acquired certain skills they need without the time and resource required to invest in development,” he added.

Irukera said rather than engage in unproductive handwringing over the export of talent and skills out of Africa, there should be a stronger focus on robust regulation and competition regimes to overcome current challenges and maximize existing opportunities.

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