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South Africa’s ‘decimated’ electronics sector could benefit from the AfCFTA – Patel

By Xolisa Phillip

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Posted on December 14, 2021 07:28

South African minister of economic development Ebrahim Patel
South African minister of economic development Ebrahim Patel

Cars, chocolate, customs harmonisation… South African trade and industry minister Ebrahim Patel tells The Africa Report that the country can help use its pools of capital to help stitch together the continent, give substance to the African Continental Free Trade Area, and help local companies venture north of the Limpopo river.

In a wide-ranging interview on the sidelines of the Intra-African Trade Fair, Patel gives The Africa Report insights about his thinking on how South African development finance institutions (DFIs) can fit into the continental trade agreement. The minister also speaks about where opportunities lay in the agreement for his country and about his ministry’s partners in government with regards to making the AfCFTA effective.

“They [DFIs] absolutely have a role to play. The Development Bank of Southern Africa can play a big role in infrastructure funding in South Africa to ensure that we have the platforms [and] … between countries,” says Patel, who explains that “to facilitate trade, a lot of infrastructure needs to be cross border. You can’t have a brilliant road in one country and terrible road infrastructure in a neighbouring country.”

The Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), already

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