Africa needs to craft a strategy to rebuild economies after Covid, says expert

Africa needs to craft a strategy to rebuild economies after Covid, says expert

2021-12-06 07:49:00 AM

Africa needs to craft a strategy to rebuild economies after Covid, says expert

President Cyril Ramaphosa has visited Nigeria, Ivory Coast and Ghana signing bilateral trade agreements and taking part in discussions.

As President Cyril Ramaphosa, on Monday, winds up his four-nations tour in West Africa with an official visit to the Republic of Senegal, two political analysts described the trip as important in stimulating economic relations, with one cautioning on Nigeria’s uneasiness about South Africa’s dominance in African affairs. While University of Johannesburg professor of politics Siphamandla Zondi and independent political analyst Dr Ralph Mathekga saw the trip as presenting spinoffs for South Africa and the West African region, University of South Africa political science professor Dirk Kotze warned of Nigeria being a stumbling block in Ramaphosa achieving his objectives. ALSO...

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As President Cyril Ramaphosa, on Monday, winds up his four-nations tour in West Africa with an official visit to the Republic of Senegal, two political analysts described the trip as important in stimulating economic relations, with one cautioning on Nigeria’s uneasiness about South Africa’s dominance in African affairs.

While University of Johannesburg professor of politics Siphamandla Zondi and independent political analyst Dr Ralph Mathekga saw the trip as presenting spinoffs for South Africa and the West African region, University of South Africa political science professor Dirk Kotze warned of Nigeria being a stumbling block in Ramaphosa achieving his objectives. headtopics.com

ALSO READ:‘Health apartheid slap in the face’: African excellence deserves respectDuring his trip, accompanied by ministers and senior government officials, Ramaphosa visited the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the republics of Ivory Coast and Ghana, signing bilateral trade agreements and taking part in bi-national commission discussions.

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Addressing the Ghana-SA business forum in Accra, Ramaphosa said Covid brought unprecedented disruptions to Africa – “reducing earnings, increasing poverty and food insecurity”.He said: “I salute the resilience of the business community and your ability to sustain your businesses through these difficult times. A critical condition for the recovery of our economies is the successful roll-out of vaccines and continued adherence to the health protocols.

“While more than 220 million vaccine doses have been administered on the continent, only 6.7% of Africa’s population is fully vaccinated. This is simply not enough, if we are to revive and rebuild our economies.“Equitable access to vaccines is the best way to mitigate the economic, social and health consequences of the pandemic.

“That is why South Africa together with India, has co-sponsored a proposal to the WTO (World Trade Organisation) for a temporary Trips (agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) waiver to ensure access to Covid vaccines and treatments.” headtopics.com

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Said Zondi: “Trade relations in Africa already are among the most significant for South Africa in concrete economic terms.Ramaphosa: Look to Africa for sustainable economic recovery“The coming into effect 11 months ago of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) made Africa an even more attractive market for South African businesses.

“The countries visited are – alongside South Africa – among first to deposit the instruments ratifying the AfCFTA. The bilateral agreements seek to harness these opportunities.“If implemented fully and if businesses show enthusiasm, these agreements could grow trade volumes between SA and Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana and Nigeria.

“West Africa hosts some of the biggest SA investments, including companies in the telecommunication, agriculture and mining sectors.“South Africa exports to the region more than it imports – mostly raw materials. This is set to change towards more value-added trade. Nigeria is a huge market for South African manufactures already.”

Mathekga said: “This provide an opportunity to address poor trade relations between West Africa and South Africa, an opportunity to build bridges and focus on long-term trade and economic relations.“The tour comes at a time when African countries need to craft a common strategy to rebuild economies after Covid.” headtopics.com

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