“We need to do more around production [of finished goods] in Africa,” Samaila Zubairu, president and CEO of the Africa Finance Corporation said at Afreximbank’s 29th annual meeting, which took place in Cairo from 15 to 18 June. “Only then will we reduce the trade deficit, create more jobs, and earn more money.”
The Africa Trade Report – launched during the annual meeting – underscores the importance of using AfCFTA to accelerate the process of structural transformation and growth on the continent.
Participants at the event did not dispute the benefits of AfCFTA but were keen to highlight that without industrialisation, African trade – which accounts for three per cent of global trade to date – will remain moot.
Experts argued that exporting finished goods at higher rates is what could pay dividends. At the moment, raw materials constitute around 70% of African exports.
There's more to this story
Get unlimited access to our exclusive journalism and features today. Our award-winning team of correspondents and editors report from over 54 African countries, from Cape Town to Cairo, from Abidjan to Abuja to Addis Ababa. Africa. Unlocked.
Already a a subscriber Sign In