“Trade more amongst yourselves,” Obasanjo to African leaders

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By Caroline Njenga

Africa is losing more than 69 billion dollars every year in illicit financial outflows through tax evasions and fraud.

Former president Olusegun Obasanjo says this is due to lack of functional institutions calling on African leader to come with effective policies and strong institutions that will survive administration and political leadership.

He urged them to live up to their commitments in action and not words.

Africa is the only continent in the world that trades less with itself. 80% of exports from Africa are shipped overseas to destinations like the EU, USA, and China.

The fact that Africa trades more with outside countries than within itself leaves its member countries highly vulnerable to illicit financial flows and international economic shocks.

In 2015, illicit financial outflows increased from 50 billion dollars to 69 billion dollars through tax evasions and fraud due to lack of functional institutions and effective polices.

Delegates at the Africa green revolution revealed that Africa spends about 35 billion dollars in food imports and also incurs post-harvest losses to the tune of over 4 billion dollars every year.

This needs to change because Africa has been endowed with huge tracts of arable land which is just lying idle.

He notes that Africa can be able to feed itself and the world simply through empowering the smallholder farmers and increasing value addition.

The average fertilizer used per hectare in Africa is 10kgs which is less when compared to fertilizer used in Latin America which is 190kgs and Asia 220kgs per hectare.

Kanayo says if Africa could advance in technology and innovation it has great potential to feed itself and the world.

Kanayo Mwanze president of International Fund for agricultural development IFAD was awarded first Africa food prize for his courageous leadership in fostering solidarity with Africa’s smallholder farmers.

He called upon Africa leaders to live up to their commitments in action and not words by upholding the Maputo declarations.

 

 

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