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Africa Needs Trade Not Aid

For many years, Africa has been at the mercy of many western nations, almost kneeling down to beg for aid in order to accelerate her development.

For many years, Africa has been at the mercy of many western nations, almost kneeling down to beg for aid in order to accelerate her development.

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The sad reality is that we do not need those foreign aid or donors to survive. Aid can be developmental or humanitarian. Development aid simply means the donation of funds and other commodities to foreign countries for the purpose of long-term development while humanitarian aids are geared towards short-term relief when the need arises.

It’s on record that between 1970 and 1998 when aid flows to Africa were at their peak, poverty in Africa rose from 11% to 66%. Evidently, Africa needs to redirect its energy and focus on real issues for her growth and development. The basis for Africa’s growth depends on the volume of trade among African countries.
Now did I hear someone say it’s not possible? Have you tried driving to Accra from Lagos recently?

Or probably from Nairobi to Kampala? Do you know the volume of trade that can take place within the continent at a cheaper freight cost? Fine! Let’s move on. I’m sure you are aware that Africa’s population is over a billion, right? You can access good Kenyan coffee on the streets of New York, another continent all together but cannot enjoy same on the streets of Lagos. Oh! You are now thinking deeper? Let us face it!

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For trade to thrive among African nations, they must pursue a development agenda that is geared towards realizing this noble goal.

African countries must develop internal Infrastructure first before thinking of a prosperous trade relations among themselves. Good roads, excellent rail tracks and other means of transport are crucial to increase inter-trade in Africa. We all know Africa has suffered many decades of mismanagement, massive corruption and looting of state treasury and without curbing this menace NOW, I bet in a matter of years, we would be worse off.

Regional Economic blocs such as ECOWAS in West Africa, COMESA in Southern and Eastern Africa, SADC in Southern Africa as well as EAC in East Africa must be formidable and create frameworks within each region for international trade to thrive. A united and prosperous Africa is what a great number of us desire and this can be achieved through strong regional economic blocs. Government should encourage investment by creating incentives to local investors thereby enhancing public private partnership and healthy competition in their respective economies.

Enough said!!! African countries are not poor but are enormously wealthy in financial, human and natural resources. What is needed is just good governance – to improve the network of roads, air, sea and rail just like Europe, eliminate laws to inter-trade which will enhance seamless trade and massive employment generation. Secure external borders, enhance homeland security and above all, corruption should be treated like the tumour fighting Africa’s development.

Remember nothing comes freely! You have to pay a price! Foreign Aid isn”t free as we are made to believe! They are agents of bondage!

God bless Africa.

Anthony Ebitimi Owei
Writes on
On twitter: @TeeWhyOwei


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