NIGERIA intends to host the World Summit for a Single Market in Africa in March next year as part of a renewed drive towards consolidating the continent’s disparate economies and forging a stronger entity that can compete on the global market.
Despite being home to about 18% of the world’s population, Africa only accounts for about 3% of global trade. Most of Africa’s 54 countries have very weak economies, produce very little and are dependent on imports for basic consumer goods, for which they have nothing to trade but primary commodities.
Even Africa’s larger economies like Nigeria, South Africa, Egypt, Algeria, Angola and Ethiopia are not competitive globally, as they add very little to the goods they export. In a bid to address this imbalance, which leads to constant balance of trade deficits, huge debts and import dependency, there are plans to build a common African market.
Angelo Elosia, the chairman/chief coordinator of the Invest in Africa World Summit and Expo said that the summit will take place on March 23, 2021. He added the recent 2020 Invest in Africa summit that just held in Abuja was a transitional programme which was expected to usher in the World Summit for a Single Market in Africa in 2021.
This recent programme was tagged Economic and Technical Innovations for Africa During and After Covid-19. According to Mr Elosia, the offshoot from here will be the World Summit for Single Market in Africa which will take place in Nigeria on March 23, next year.
Mr Elosia said: “The idea is to bring the various African countries under one umbrella and to harness the regional market for Africa’s structural transformation. We look forward to the hosting of the event as Nigeria is ripe and Africa is indeed ready for the world.
He noted that the goal of the summit, which started in 2003 was to bring together countries leaders, stakeholders, international investors and industry decision makers to foster economic and bilateral relationships. According to Mr Elosia, the summit brings into focus the African aspiration both in rural and urban areas with the opportunity of coming together to foster these aspirations in economic and grassroots development.
“It will also promote investments and partnerships for sustainable economic development towards poverty eradication in Africa. Some of its objectives includes investing in digital infrastructure, literacy and skills, financial services, digital entrepreneurship and innovation, youth development and women empowerment.
“Others are to promote and create a forum for partnerships and joint ventures in Africa, to mention a few,” Mr Elosia said.