AFRICAN COUNTRIES PLEDGE SUPPORT TO INTRA-AFRICA TRADE AT INDABA

PRETORIA, The Gauteng Provincial Government has hosted the Intra-Africa Trade and Investment Indaba in Tshwane.

The indaba was held under the theme, 'African sub-regions and cities, future hubs of International Trade and Investment, Inclusive Growth and Sustainable Development', on Friday in Centurion.

The reindustrialisation of Africa is one of the top priorities of the Gauteng Provincial Government. Efforts have been stepped up for the promotion of the integration of the continent to facilitate trade and commerce, as well as the movement of people, goods and services across the African region.

We must pay greater attention to economic diplomacy by ensuring that we increase intra-Africa trade above the current levels of around 12% to at least 50% over the next decade, said Gauteng Premier David Makhura.

The indaba was attended by ambassadors, the African and the international investment community, Chambers of Commerce and Industry and policymakers based within the African continent.

Africa stands at a unique position at the moment, wherein we have the greatest potential to be the centre of gravity of global economics. We have rich natural resources - more than 60% of the world's mineral deposits are in Sub-Saharan Africa. We have a youthful population that is enterprising and entrepreneurial. Together with natural resources, our youth are our greatest wealth.

Our greatest challenge is underinvestment in our people, wholly inadequate infrastructure and the quality of governance. Without investing in people, infrastructure and improved governance, our rich mineral resources become a curse and the primary source of conflict as elites - foreign and national - scramble for them at the total exclusion of the masses of the African people, said Makhura.

Eric Bruggerman, CEO South African Capital Equipment Export Council (SACEEC), who also attended the indaba commended the Gauteng Provincial Government for opening the doors of communication between business and government, and for addressing some of the bottlenecks that often impede business from working with government.

The feedback that I am getting from everyone here today is that this indaba should be an annual event in the province and I am making the commitment that the Gauteng Provincial Government will host this indaba annually.

We now need to translate the plans discussed at this Indaba into action.We, as government, also have a responsibility to cut red tape and make Gauteng investor -friendly. Let us continue to strengthen African unity and collectively ensure that we prosper together, said Makhura.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK