News / Africa

African Economies Should Emphasize Production

An employee of the Swiss monitoring company SGS registers a tree trunk near Buchanan, Liberia, 26 Feb 2010
An employee of the Swiss monitoring company SGS registers a tree trunk near Buchanan, Liberia, 26 Feb 2010

A new report says Africa should break with the past in moving from trade in commodities, to trade which enhances its productive capacity.  The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, UNCTAD, has just issued its Economic Development in Africa Report 2010.

The report notes trade between Africa and non-African developing countries is growing, especially with the emerging economic powerhouses China, India and Brazil.  

It says Africa should seize the opportunity of trading with large developing countries to diversify production, acquire technology and develop regional markets.  

The study warns so far, trade and investment flows with the south are reinforcing a long-standing trend, which is not very helpful to Africa.  It says African countries mainly export farm produce, minerals, ores and crude oil and import mostly manufactured goods.

The secretary-general for the U.N. Conference on Trade and Development, Supachai Panitchpakdi, says non-African developing countries should help Africa by moving away from concentrating on its minerals and energy industry.  

"In order to help Africa, and we would like to see South-South Cooperation being more than a guise towards exploitation of natural resources of Africa.  The scope should be broadened to cover more than just extraction.  We think that from the side of non-African partners countries, they should be trying to enlarge the scope of their coverage of countries in Africa to include other countries that are less well endowed with natural resources as well,  said Supachai Panitchpakdi.

The report finds Africa's total merchandise trade with non-African developing countries increased from $34 billion in 1995 to $283 billion in 2008.

It says China is Africa's most important trading partner.  The report says Africa's total merchandise trade with China increased from $25 billion in 2004 to $93 billion in 2008.  

During the same period, it notes Africa's trade with India increased from $9 billion to $31 billion, and it increased from $8 billion to $23 billion with Brazil.

The report finds China is becoming the most significant bilateral source of support to Africa in the infrastructure and production sectors.  It says financial commitments in sub-Saharan Africa soared to $4.5 billion in 2007.

Senior UNCTAD economist Charles Gore says South-South trade and investment relations are mainly oriented towards intensifying Africa's dependence on commodities.

"There is a great potential, an opportunity for these relations to promote transformational growth in Africa.  Growth based on structural change… Africa needs certain ingredients of things like infrastructure, skills technology to move beyond commodity dependence and establish local manufacturing industries," he said.   

The U.N. conference emphasizes the need to ensure gains are better distributed across countries.  It notes in 2008, the five largest African exporters to developing countries accounted for 68 percent of the region's total exports.  And, the report says the top five African countries accounted for 57 percent of the region's imports from other developing countries.

The U.N. economists note continuing growth of large developing countries is occurring at the same time advanced economies are facing weaker growth.  As a consequence, they say Africa's relationships to other developing regions can be expected to grow in importance.  

You May Like

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More