Monday, May 27, 2013

Africa Eyes Global Economic Power Status

Africa eyes global economic power status

Monday, 27 May 2013 00:00

ADDIS ABABA. — Africa is creating opportunities that will make it a global economic power in the next 50 years in the process and create additional opportunities for its development partners, former
chairperson of the African Union Commission Jean Ping said yesterday at the African Union headquarters.

Growth in Africa is not only being driven by commodities but also by services, transport and information communication technology, among other non-commodity sectors, indicating sustainable levels of economic growth will be achieved.

“Look at a country like Ethiopia and Kenya which do not have oil, but their economic growth is impressive,” Ping said in an interview with Xinhua.

He said it is time for Africa to build on strategies it wants to use it relations with its development partners, but said such strategies should not be discriminatory.

“It is up to us now to tell the rest of the world that we have opportunities to create wealth.
“I think all partners should be welcome as long as they bring in investment into the continent,” said Ping at the sidelines of the 21st Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the Heads of State and Government.

The Africa Union is celebrating 50 years since it was formed in Ethiopia, at a time when about 20 African countries were yet to attain their independence.

The outlook for the next 50 years is positive, and will be driven under a policy known as Agenda 2063. Some of the wins being realised towards this agenda include the fact that the current economic growth level is creating a larger pool of middle class and an educated population that will lead growth in the next five decades.

Political and economic governance in Africa has also improved. Regional integration is being given much more attention as is the intra-Africa trade, touted as one of the key future drivers of economic growth in the continent.

This growth is also expected to create opportunities for the continent’s development partners, including China, India, Japan, Europe, United States among others.

The Deputy Chairperson of the African Union Commission Erastus Mwencha said private sector will be key to growth of the continent in the next five decades and therefore African governments need to create a business climate conducive for private sector investments.

“Our common strategic goal with respect to the private sector should be to promote a pro-active and vibrant Pan-African sector that can play the lead role in energizing African economies to achieve poverty eradication,” said Mwencha.

“We see Africa being economically and politically integrated in the next 50 years, accounting for 15 percent of global trade and 50 percent of intra Africa trade,” he added.

— Xinhua.

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