Eveline de Klerk WINDHOEK - Namibia is ranked second in Africa in terms of countries that have contributed to intra-African trade during 2017, according to a report. Research done by the South African Research Survey and presented by the Senior Manager of Afrexibank Gainmore Zanamwe indicates that Namibia contributed six percent to intra-African trade, with South African being on top with a contribution of 26 percent. He presented the statistics during the opening of the third annual SADC Industrialisation Week that started yesterday at the Safari Conference Centre in Windhoek. Nigeria is in third position with 4.5 per cent. SADC countries Zambia, Swaziland, Botswana, Zimbabwe, the Democratic Republic of Congo as well as Mozambique also feature in the top 10 African countries that contribute most to intra-Africa trade. Overall, SADC contributed 20 per cent to intra-African trade last year. However, Zanamwe says trade within Africa is still very low compared to other regions such as Asia, Europe and America. “So we still have a big challenge as Africa. Only countries that managed to increase intra-reginal trade managed to transform their economies and developed, hence we need to take a closer look at our policies and trade facilitation, not as individual countries but as a continent and regionally,” he said. According to Zanamwe, SADC, even though ranked first in terms or regional trade, still has a long way to go. “SADC is not doing bad compared to the other regions, but intra-regional trade is still very low. We need to increase it, even though things are not rosy from an inter-regional perspective,” Zanamwe explained. He added that for countries to developed effectively and sustain value chains, they need to look at key areas such a border post clearing, trade facilitation issues and infrastructure. “Those are critical elements that one cannot choose to ignore. You also need to look at standards, as the markets that you are supplying would want you to comply to certain standards, as you would not be able to penetrate the value chain and jeopardise intra-African trade,” he said. The SADC Industrialisation Week is taking place under the theme “Promoting infrastructure development and youth empowerment for sustainable development” and will end tomorrow. The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) says one of the main reasons intra-African trade is low at around 15 percent compared to Europe (59 percent), Asia (51 percent), and North America (37 percent) is because of lack of access to trade and market information. To address this challenge, Afreximbank decided to, among other initiatives, convene the Intra-African Trade Fair every two years to provide trade and market information and connect buyers and sellers from across the continent.
New Era Reporter
2018-07-31 08:37:24 8 months ago