African Manufactured Exports Double in 10 Years

The African manufactured exports have doubled over the last ten years with the rise in demand for goods by Africa’s emerging economy partners, says a new report.

According to the African Economic report released on Monday, it shows that the share conducted by the continent with emerging partners has grown from approximately 23 per cent to 39 per cent in the last decade.

The report shows that China replaced the US in 2009 as the main Africa’s trading partner.Africa’s top five emerging trade partners include China (38 per cent), India (14 per cent), Korea (7.2 per cent), Brazil (7.1 per cent) and Turkey (6.5 per cent).”However, the European Union and the US remain the most important sources of Foreign Direct Investment for African countries,” reads the report in part.

Contributing during the launch of the AEO report in Dar es Salaam on Monday this week, the executive director of the Research on Poverty Alleviation Prof Samwel Wangwe, advised African countries to be strategic in trade partnership with the emerging partners in order to compliment the traditional business.

“Let us (the African countries) take advantage from the emerging partners through learning so that we do not become just passive partners,” emphasised Prof Wangwe.

The AEO report also advises the African countries to play strategically as the benign trends do not guarantee economic diversification.”African countries have to frame their engagement with their emerging partners within a home-grown strategy of national development particularly with respect to longer-term industrial and agricultural policies,” it reads.

The director of research at Tanzania Investment Centre, Dr John Kyaruzi blamed the procurement systems in Africa especially in development projects which he said “they delay changes” in Tanzania and most other African countries.

He cited an example of road construction by foreign companies which would spend long time for feasibility study, evaluation for the feasibility study and other reviews before it takes off. “Let us apply the barter system with these foreign investors to speed up changes, for example we tell them that they give us a road we need and we give them gold,” said Dr Kyaruzi.