AFRICANGLOBE – Africa must invest in technology transfer models to strengthen value addition of its products to move away from selling raw materials, experts have said at the ongoing AU summit in Kigali.
Despite talk of Africa’s critical need to strengthen its industrialization to create jobs and move millions out of poverty, the bloc has continued to export raw materials something that has left many African economies behind, although many are endowed with natural resources.
“Africa must focus on technology transfer models to close the existing gaps in value addition, we incur losses in export of raw materials, there is need for technological partnerships with developed countries so we can transform our raw materials into finished goods,” said Dr Darlington Muzeza, an expert from the Zimbabwean Ministry of tourism and hospitality industry.
A continent which still has agriculture as the biggest employer of the population still imports up to $40 billion of food every year, with the number likely to increase.
To be able to covert its raw materials into finished goods, Africa also needs to close its huge skill gap and accelerates investments in energy and infrastructures, if it’s to achieve double digit growth every year by 2030.
He said, as AU addresses policy issues, it needs to also deal with “the pessimism that comes with nationalistic interests of member states”.
“AU must not be a talk show, but a platform to interrogate issues and come up with practical solutions to people’s problems; it needs to revisit its founding principles of a united Africa, the vision of Kwame Nkurumah,” he said.
AU was also called upon to strengthen regional blocs which can address the multi-faceted challenges faced by the continent, and to advance economic development.
“Africa has not established its own CNN, why does Africa lack its own currency, we continue facing foreign exchange risks, we need to strengthen our systems” said Muzeza at the side-lines of AU.
By: Moses Gahigi