More investment isn’t simply the answer. A different approach is needed…by Tariq Siraj

Boris Johnson sat down with a host of African leaders at the UK-Africa Investment Summit last month and the emphasis at these things is always to throw out huge numbers and make bold promises.  Well, as genuine and well-meaning as that might be, there is a growing feeling that it’s not the actual investment number itself but the where and how that matters most.

As the problems and needs of the developing world become ever more challenging and complex, the solutions have more nuance than just bigger headline numbers and ‘more, more, more’.  In Africa, for example, 20 million new jobs need creating (double the rate of the last 5 years) just to sustain current unemployment levels.

As this article very well points out, social progress needs to be the motivator – not just jobs and dollars. A genuine high social impact initiative is simply a higher impact initiative. It helps the poorest more directly (ie those who need it most) and these type of investment are also the most sustainable, long-lasting and far-reaching.

- Tariq Siraj

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