The nations of Africa have been enjoined to foster cohesion at reducing numerous border restrictions and other needless trade barriers responsible for the dismal level of Intra-Africa trade compared to other continents of the world.
President of the Pan African Parliament (PAP), Hon. Bethel Amadi, gave the charge yesterday in his speech at the opening of the Regional Parliamentary Meeting on African Governance Platform and Promotion of African Union (AU) Legal Instrument holding in Port Harcourt Rivers State.
According to the PAP President, with a fragmented continent of 54 countries bearing numerous border crossings, Intra-Africa Trade as shown by a recent World Trade Organisation report, remains as low as 10 per cent while the European Union, Asia, North America and South America have achieved a growth of 70 per cent, 52 per cent, 50 per cent and 26 per cent respectively.
Noting that the low Intra-Africa trade has made the continent miss growth and development opportunities, Hon. Amadi said, “Studies have indicated that if only Afrcica countries can increase their share of global trade by only one per cent, it would represent an additional annual income of 200 billion dollars, about five times above the development assistance from Africa’s donor partners annually.”
He advocated the formulation of strategic economic policies to boost Intra-Africa trade through enhancement of effectiveness in public service in the continent by pushing campaign for African countries to sign and ratify the African Charter on Values and Principles of Public service and Administration to ensure trade plays a potent factor for rapid economic growth.
from Obiajunwo Pual, Port Harcourt