Uniting for Prosperity: President Akufo-Addo Calls for African Unity to Boost Intra-Continental Trade
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo emphasizes the importance of unity among African countries to promote trade within the continent. Currently, Africa’s share in global trade stands at a mere 3 percent, with intra-African trade being one of the lowest compared to other regions worldwide.
President Akufo-Addo attributes Africa’s limited trade growth to the remnants of a colonial economic model. This model has resulted in small individual economies, fragmented regional markets, and disconnected trading networks. These factors have hindered the continent’s economic progress for decades.
Breaking Free from Historical Barriers: Overcoming Colonial Shackles to Drive Economic Growth in Africa
During the opening of the 7th African Leadership Forum in Accra, President Akufo-Addo highlights the need for Africa to define its own narrative. He emphasizes that the continent’s perception should be shaped by its self-perception rather than external opinions. However, achieving this goal requires increased intra-African trade as a crucial stepping stone.
The President further explains that Africa’s limited trade integration is a result of over-reliance on exporting primary commodities, the presence of low productive capacities, and a lack of interconnected regional markets. These historical barriers have persisted for the past century, hindering the continent’s economic development.
Redefining Africa’s Narrative: Intra-African Trade as a Pathway to Shaping a Positive Image
President Akufo-Addo reiterates the ancient adage that “there is strength in unity.” He emphasizes that the African Union’s 54 member states must leverage their collective strength to overcome challenges and promote economic growth. By trading among themselves, African countries can harness their vast potential and reshape the narrative of the continent.