Addis Ababa, February 7/2022 /ENA/ South Africa and Uganda ministers stressed that Africans have to stop others from abusing their huge resources and increase intra-African trade.
South African International Relations and Cooperation Minister, Naledi Pandor told ENA that the time has come for Africa to be innovative and benefit from its natural and human resources.
Africa must develop its resources by offering real opportunity to the huge young population and ensuring that they are part of the decision-making process, she added.
“The most important thing to realize is that we must depend on ourselves and nobody else. We are very rich as a continent, but we are allowing others to abuse our resources. We have many minerals throughout Africa. (But) we don’t do value addition, we just export our materials out of Africa and buy back value added products,” Pandor noted.
Uganda Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Henry Okello Oryem said on his part Africans must take advantage of the numerous resources in Africa and forget neo-colonialism, segregation and discrimination of Europeans towards Africa, when we come to trade.
“There is a lot of opportunity in Africa. The AU and its institutions carry the African free trade initiative; and this is what Africa should undertake and execute seriously and jealously. We have to increase trade with Africans to eventually increase pan-Africanism and unity of African countries.”
According to him, the continent should continue to support each other in international fora; and Africans should continue to support one another in the struggle for peace and security in the region.
It is well known that Africa is rich in natural resources, ranging from arable land, water, oil, natural gas, minerals, and forests to wildlife.
The continent holds a huge proportion of the world’s natural resources, both renewable and nonrenewable. However, inability to exploit Africa’s natural resources by its population is brewing trouble.
AU Commissioner for Economic Development, Trade Industry and Mining, Albert Muchanga said there are a number of programs that aim at uplifting the living standard of African people.
One of the provisions of Agenda 2063 is beginning in 2023 and the African economy must grow at a rate of 7 percent by annum because at that rate they will be able to have a strong program of poverty reduction.
The commission is working with AfDB and NEPAD to come up with in-depth study aimed at positioning Africa to attain and sustain 7-10 percent in the coming ten years, Muchanga stated.
”When we establish a continental free trade area, it will be possible to increase intra-African trade through export diversification programs… So, we are working with partners on a mapping exercise on regional and continental value chains.”
According to the commissioner, Africa must work on value addition to its resources in order to effectively utilize what the continent has.