Africa must cooperate to address infrastructure deficit-ECA
Moussa Faki, The Chairperson ofAfrican Union
London, Oct. 29, 2017 (AltAfrika) – The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) wants more regional approaches and strategic partnerships among African countries to address the mounting problems of infrastructural deficit in the continent
Deputy Executive Secretary of ECA, Giovanie Biha who made the remark at a two-day meeting on trade facilitation and infrastructure in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, noted that infrastructure deficit in Africa remained a major challenge to trade facilitation, intra-regional trade as well as economic development and transformation on the continent.
Recalling the estimation by the African Development Bank (AfDB), she noted that Africa needs about 93 billion U.S. dollars annually until the year 2020 to close its infrastructure gap.
She said regional approaches and strategic partnerships to address problems of trade facilitation are increasingly being recognised since international trade involves the use of infrastructure and services of at least two countries.
“A regional approach is an efficient means of coordinating actions, setting priorities, reviewing progress, mobilizing resources, allocating funds, and monitoring contribution levels, with regard to solving common problems,” said Biha.
“Africa must look inwards in financing its infrastructure development and dismantling obstacles to intra-Africa trade and the movement of persons across the continent,” she said.
Biha noted the strides that the regional economic communities (RECs) are making in easing border pressures and promoting intra-Africa trade, and she cited the Chirundu One-Stop Border Post between Zambia and Zimbabwe as an excellent example of what the region can achieve with strong political will.
ECA offers to deepen its collaboration with African countries and it stands ready to provide technical and advisory support to help tackle the trade facilitation challenges faced by the region, she said.