The African Union’s Commissioner for Economic Development, Trade, Tourism, Industry and Minerals, Albert Muchanga, wants increased investment in productivity if the continent was to realize the full potential of its huge population and vast natural resources.
Ambassador Muchanga observed that Africa’s share of the global GDP was just 3 percent despite its equivalent population to China, which boasts 18 percent share of global GDP.
“Africa’s share of global trade is just 2.7 percent as opposed to 20 percent for China,” he stated.
Africa’s population is estimated to be around 1.2 billion and counting with the continent being the second biggest after Asia.
Speaking during the African Union High Level Private Sector Forum held in Nairobi, Ambassador Muchanga explained that the difference lies in productivity and this is where the continent fails.
African Union Members States on the other hand, have been called upon to adopt policies to encourage intra-African trade in food production including removing Non-tariff Barriers.
It was also discussed during the forum that AU Members should ditch rain fed agriculture and invest in irrigation schemes as both weather and climate are no longer reliable.
The forum further encouraged AU Member States to build resilient food systems which are climate resilient by employing technologies which promote investments in technologies that also address post-harvest losses.
Member States were encouraged to align their agribusiness priorities in line with the Malabo and Maputo declarations and the Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Program (CAADP).
The forum resolved that investments in transport and logistics should be supported to ensure agribusinesses are scaled up and sustainable to ensure food security in the African continent.
On ensuring access to reliable and affordable energy supplies, AU Member States were advised to mobilize additional financing towards enhancing the participation of Independent Power Producers (IPPs) upon providing subsidies and other incentives to increase energy access in Africa.
The forum urged the African Union Commission (AUC) to develop guidelines to accelerate mobilization of additional resources to accompany private sector actors to participate in IPPs within the energy sector in Africa.