Africa – it’s about trade not aid

_Blur morning

Another well documented piece from CapX on the plight of Africa and how it has the chance to realise the potential for high returns from agriculture.

Over the last decade, African economies have grown faster than any others in the world. But most of this growth has occurred outside of agriculture, even though agriculture employs one half to two-thirds of the population. This fact more than any other explains why Africa’s economic expansion has failed to generate benefits for the majority of Africans.

There was a recent summit in Addis Ababa to discuss international financing for development which, it is hope, will;

spur more inclusive growth in Africa by emphasizing investment in smallholder agriculture – food production on farms that are typically less than a hectare in size. These smallholder farms are the mainstay of Africa’s agriculture system. And with the right mix of policies and investments from the public and private sector, they have potential to be global players.

As people have been saying for many years, what Africa really wants and needs is to trade it’s way out of poverty – simply relying on charity is not the long term solution.

Of course they have a long way to go, according to the article only 6% of cultivated land in Africa is irrigated and farmers are way behind in terms of pest control, use of machinery and quality seeds, but the scope is there to make a change.

What would also help is if the EU gave Africa a fair deal in trade. As the three following articles point out;

African countries feel cornered in EU trade negotiations

EU-Africa free trade agreement ‘destroys’ development policy, says Merkel advisor

Trade between two unequal partners

As usual, Brussels looks after no-one but itself.

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