THE 3RD KENYA INVESTMENT CONFERENCE AT SAFARI PARK HOTEL ON 31ST MAY, 2023.
The African continent faces a myriad of challenges, some of which have already been highlighted. These include poverty, and unemployment but much more acutely is that we are not trading with each other.
I always use these statistics, if you look at our colleagues in Europe, 70% of all goods traded are made in European countries. In Asia, nearly 40-45% of goods traded are from the same continent. However, In Africa only about 15% of the goods traded within the continent are locally made. This is a clear display of the kind of challenges and problems that we have.
It is ironical that 75% of the goods that we are trading here are imported from outside Africa. It therefore does not come as a surprise that we are bedeviled with poverty and unemployment.
The second issue that I want to mention is manufacturing. While the African population makes up 17% of the globe our share of manufacturing is less than 3%. The ideal share of goods from Africa traded globally should be 17%. In essence, we are producing 14% less and as our President said here on Monday, you can see that we have a huge gap of filling up this 14% because we are doing more imports than manufacturing for ourselves.
Further, we as Africans are still doing injustice to each other, just as you have heard what it takes to export goods to Ghana. We are not doing free trade with each other but we are still stuck in more tariff and non-tariff barriers. We are still protecting even what we don’t have.
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