Experts share ways of easy trading in Africa
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Durban’s Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre (ICC) hosted the Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF) which started last week Sunday and ends tomorrow.
The IATF is aimed at boosting the economy in Africa and provided a platform for sharing trade, investment, market information and enabling buyers and sellers, investors and countries to meet, discuss and conclude business deals.
Delegates have discussed an overview of markets and where African currency stood in the current global economic context. The panel also gave an insight as to how and where opportunities and growth could be found.
Charlie Robertson, Renaissance Capital chief economist said there was still a huge gap that remained until all African countries were able to trade without tariffs.
Robertson explained how the large population, poor infrastructure and lack of energy and electricity can have a negative impact in making sub Saharan countries ready to intra-trade.
"Farming is one of the sectors where countries can easily move to industrialisation," he said.
He added that free trading electricity would allow industrialisation and promote more small businesses.
Robertson listed Morocco, Ghana, Zambia and Tanzania as the top countries that one could invest in, as their economies had positive GDP growth in the past years.
Abdou Diop, managing partner at the Mazar in Morocco, said one of the things that made Morocco strive in trading on the continent, was that the country decided to put in place a real investment attraction strategy which connected Morocco to global value chains.
“Morocco has been accelerating it’s industrialisation with real success stories such as automotive, aeronautics, textile, digitalisation and the agri industry,” he said.
Diop explained that beyond the local market, Morocco also connected it’s economy to the African continent. He agreed with Robertson, saying that energy and access to road connection would fast track the process of intra-trading on the continent.
Yofi Grant, CEO and director for Sub Saharan Africa, World Association of Investment Promotion Agencies, said free movement among countries would be a first initiative which would see intra- trading being a success. Grant said the continent was rich with natural resources which sources out to other continents for manufacturing.
“If countries can look at how to manufacture their own resources, this will not only have a growing GDP. It will further create employment, eliminate poverty and create a concrete foundation of training among countries,” he added.