A United Nations report released Thursday said Africa must rethink diversifying its exports to withstand economic shocks. The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) noted in its 2022 report on economic development in Africa that “African countries must diversify their exports to survive global economic shocks such as the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine.”
She noted that a continental free trade area, a growing middle class, an emerging consumer market, better access to financial services and technology, and vibrant private entrepreneurship can help diversify economies. Added services, expanding access to financial services for private companies, harnessing new financial technologies and implementing effective policies.
Despite decades of diversification efforts, 45 out of 54 countries on the continent still depend on commodity exports in the agriculture, mining and extraction sectors, the same source noted, believing that a country is commodity dependent when these countries account for more than 60% of its total exports. merchandise exports.
“Reliance on merchandise exports has left African economies vulnerable to global shocks and hampered overall development for too long,” UNCTAD Secretary-General Rebecca Greenspan said in a statement. He emphasized that Africa has enormous potential to break dependence on commodities and ensure the strong integration of its economies into high-end global value chains.
“By addressing barriers to trade in services, building relevant skills and improving access to alternative and innovative financing, the productivity of manufacturing on the continent can be boosted, driving economic growth and structural transformation across Africa for many years,” he said.
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