Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia is urging countries in the African continent to trade themselves out of poverty by mobilizing finance and investments on the continent through trade of value added products.
According to him, this can be achieved when Africa is deliberately developed into a manufacturing zone that will facilitate trade of value added products.
“We need to develop Africa into a manufacturing zone that will facilitate the trade of value-added products. These, in my view, will be critical to leapfrog Africa’s industrialisation and the enormous socio-economic benefits,” Dr. Bawumia said while speaking at the official opening of the Africa Prosperity Dialogues at the Safari Valley Resort at Adukrom in the Eastern Region on Thursday January 26.
He believes that “Africa needs between US$130 billion and US$170 billion annually to bridge its infrastructure gap and generate sustainable growth at 5% per annum or more.
“This presents immense opportunities for the private sector investment. Attracting private sector participation through Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) is therefore, essential for the delivery of various infrastructure projects.”
The Vice President was of the view that there is a need for additional resources to finance the arteries for trade.
“There is the need for smart investment in critical infrastructure, as a continent, we need to produce and trade our way out of poverty and underdevelopment, and we cannot do that without investing in smart infrastructure across the continent.
“While the last decades have seen some positive investment, there is the need for additional resources to finance the arteries for trade, which include the physical infrastructure such as roads, rail and energy, digital infrastructure such as data centres and financial infrastructure to allow for integration of our financial markets.”
For his part, the Secretary-General of AFCFTA, Wamkele Mene said, “It is really an honour for us to be part of this dialogue because we have an opportunity as Africans a positive narrative about the challenges that we confront.
“Indeed, I believe that Africa’s challenges are Africa’s opportunities,” he added.
For his part, Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, the Founder and Chairman of Africa Prosperity Network, the organisers of the Africa Prosperity Dialogues pointed out that the forum is to give the private sector in Africa opportunity to join forces to assert a leading voice and play our leadership role on how best and how fast it can build and drive a vibrant, single market in Africa and for the shared prosperity of Africa’s nearly 1.4 billion citizens.
He believes that leaders of Africa nations through African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), should take advantage of abundant resources in the continent to develop.
By Vincent Kubi