Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Most Traded Products in 2017: A Challenge To Africa

It is interesting to note that crude oil was the most traded product in the year 2017. It overtook vehicles which was the most traded item in 2016. I hope this will not deceive the crude oil exporters (especially the African countries) into thinking that the plan of many countries in the world to switch over to environmental friendly cars (and other machines that do not use fossil fuels) is not going to be a reality very soon.

Apart from crude and gold, almost all other products on this list are complex products with very high demands from many buyers in almost every countries all over the world and not commodity with demand in very few countries and from few buyers.

Africa needs to wake up, from basking in the euphoria of growth in Agricultural products and export, to the reality of aggressively pursuing the production of complex products through signing bilateral investment agreements with countries that have the technology and willing to come and set such factories on African soil. However, the objective of such agreements should be build, operate and transfer to local investors that have contributed equity to the establishment of such companies.

Such agreements should also incorporate clauses entrenching the principles of fair and equitable treatments so as to ensure that the investor are comfortable to come in with their investment knowing fully well that their assets are secured. 

It is high time African leaders stop this mediocre thinking by only focussing on commodity export which is of very low value and begin to work towards contributing significantly to global trade by producing and trading in complex products like cars, mobile phones, integrated circuits act.

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