Ethiopia urges AU Member States to step up efforts to Boost Intrastate Trade

Ethiopia urges AU Member States to step up efforts to Boost Intrastate Trade

ADDIS ABABA – The Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Ethiopia, Demeke Mekonnen, has called on African Union member states to redouble their efforts to industrialize and boost intrastate trade.

The minister made the call at the AU Extraordinary Summit on Industrialization and Economic Diversification, currently taking place in Niger’s capital Niamey.

Intra-African trade has increased in recent years to 15.4%. Nevertheless, Asia and Europe are still the main trade partners of the continent, a UN report on Regional Trade Trends.

High dependence on trade in primary goods, high product and market concentration of exports, and weak regional production networks are among the main challenges of African countries.

‘Change visions into Actions’

Speaking at the Summit today, the Deputy PM noted that industrialization determines whether Africa can transform its natural endowments into tradable products or depend on imported products from outside.

Demeke who underscored the importance of allocating necessary resources to kick-start industrialization in the continent and transform the economy also called AU member states’ determination to change the visions into implementable actions.

Ethiopia implemented a Home-grown economic reform program with the sole purpose of creating a conducive economic environment for the private sector by removing structural redtapes level of industrial policies in the past few years with impressive results, Demeke elaborated.

He also said Ethiopia threw its weight behind the AU’s initiative to industrialize the continent.

Attendants at the AU Summit said indusalization is not an event but a process and Africa has all the assets for job creation and industrialization.

The AU dedicated the Summit to refocus the attention on accelerating Africa’s industrialization as a key to unlocking the continent’s productive capacities which also ensures the successful implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).