Africa tasked on innovative supply chains to enhance prosperity
United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Secretary-General, Rebeca Grynspan, yesterday, urged African economies to key into technology-intensive global supply chains to boost prosperity.
The organisation made the call during the launch of a new report, which highlighted that the continent could become a major exporter of higher value-added goods, creating growth, jobs and fueling a rise in productivity and wages.
Grynspan insisted that the move would offer a better future for African economies, adding that diversification is key to private sector development and employment opportunities for the continent’s growing population.
She highlighted factors driving the huge opportunity for Africa to include countries and businesses seeking to diversify their supplies and reduce risk.
The UNCTAD boss observed that the average wage on the continent is $220 per month against the about $670 figure of the Americas.
According to UNCTAD, deeper integration into global supply chains would also diversify African economies and boost their resilience to future shocks.
Grynspan stressed that for Africa to have a competitive advantage, its economies needed debt relief to create fiscal space for nations to invest in supply chains, education and workforce.
She recalled that African countries pay four times more for borrowing than the United States and eight times more than European nations.
Director of UNCTAD’s Division on Africa, Least Developed Countries and Special Programmes, Paul Akiwumi, said to drive more large-scale private investments, regulatory barriers must be dismantled and regional industrial development plans put in place.
He cited a regional agreement between the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Zambia, which allows for the creation of an industrial zone for the production of electric car batteries.
Akiwumi also drew attention to the importance of product registration and intellectual property to attract investors.
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