Economic transformation essential for Africa

Africa’s development agenda must focus on the socio-cultural and commercial interests of Africans and the upliftment of Africa’s trade and economic ecosystem.

This is according to Muhammadu Sanusi II, the emir of Kano and a former governor of Nigeria’s Central Bank who was speaking at the 2018 Annual Meetings of the African Development Bank Group in Busan, Korea.

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“Africa’s economic transformation will be best achieved through fast-tracking regional cooperation and the execution of hard-nosed structural reforms that focus on the development of the continent’s human capital and material resources,” said Emir Sanusi II.

He shared insight about revamping African regional integration, trade and economic relations with executive directors and governors of the bank comprising finance, budget and economic planning ministers from member nations.

An economist and financial risk expert, the monarch traced Africa’s post-colonial economic woes to the continent’s fiscal indiscipline and endemic disregard for its competitive advantages. For these reasons, he asserted, Africa’s development was stunted and its global trade ties lopsided in favour of offshore trading partners.

“Nine out of every 10 countries in Africa have huge trade deficits with China, but Asia developed mostly on domestic investments and resources,” he noted, underscoring the need for African governments to invest in and promote creativity and indigenous enterprise.

The emir advocated a series of structural reforms, including strategic investments in key sectors like agriculture, infrastructure, education and small and medium enterprises. He called for deliberate industrial diversification, noting that China has begun to move its mega-sized manufacturing capabilities out of low-cost industries.

 

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