Improved trade relations ‘critical’ for emerging Africa

At the International Conference on the Emergence of Africa, Steve Kayizzi-Mugerwa, Acting Chief Economist and Vice President of the African Development Bank, said that creating favourable terms for trade and enhancing trade relations with other countries should be a critical agenda for emerging Africa.

The conference was organised by the United Nations Development Programme and the Government of Côte d’Ivoire in partnership with the AfDB and the World Bank.

The event highlighted that favourable trade concessions are needed for African countries to experience economic growth.

African Development Bank statistics put Africa’s economic growth at 5.5% in 2014, and target 7% for 2015.
The meeting adopted the Abidjan Declaration, which states: “Countries aspiring to become emerging markets should accelerate regional integration through the creation of regional blocks that could eventually lead to the improvement of intra-regional trade and efficient access to global markets.

The inclusion of the most vulnerable populations into the financial system, and especially women and their access to credit should be promoted so as to increase their share of participation in the economy.”

Terrorism and the continent’s energy problem also came into focus during the meeting.

Senegal’s President, Macky Sall, called for concerted efforts to address these serious threats to the economic development of African countries.