(Xinhua) -- Former Chairman of the International
Monetary and Financial Committee of the International Monetary
Fund has called on countries to pay more attention to small and
medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) because of their potential to
create jobs and drive economic growth.
Youssef Boutros-Ghali, also former
Egyptian Minister of Finance said in his experience as a finance
minister, he observed that countries were obsessed with
attracting foreign direct investments and large corporations
interested in African countries while forgetting that the most
systemic feature of African economies are SMEs.
He was speaking at a panel discussion
during the ongoing Global African Investment Summit that opened
in Rwandan Kigali Monday.
“The vast majorities of enterprises
generating jobs in our economies are SMEs. And these therefore
have specific requirements in terms of macro-policy,” he said.
According to Boutros-Ghali, SMEs are
not only a source of taxes, they are also a source of
“Give them room to grow fast because
they are too numerous to fail. Governments need to support
them,” he said.
Toro Orero, the Managing Partner at
DraperDarkFlow, a Silicon Valley fund for African startups noted
that investments should have local relevance, use business
models that work in specific markets and avoid copy paste
The experts called on African
governments to support domestic entrepreneurship and encourage
productive partnerships between domestic and foreign investment,
as well as business-friendly policies that should be created to
increase investor confidence.
Francis Gatare, the chief executive of
Rwanda Development Board said small and micro businesses have
been the bigger beneficiaries of the country’s most business
reforms because of their potential.