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Africa needs intra-continental trade for its dev't - Jose Manuel Barroso

Africa needs intra-continental trade for its dev't - Jose Manuel Barroso


Former president of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, has pointed out inadequate intra-continental trade as one of Africa’s development problems.

Speaking at the opening of the two-day International Economic Conference in Yaounde, Cameroon on Tuesday, Barroso said he is “confident that Africa has a vast reserve for global economic growth and the continent needs infrastructure, education and rule of law to improve its own development.”

The former Portuguese Prime Minister is one of the three keynote speakers at the conference alongside, Un-Chan Chung, former Prime Minister of South Korea and Nigerian Tony Elumelu, Group Chairman of United Bank of Africa (UBA).

Jose Manuel Barroso advised that African creativity should be accompanied with management skills for accelerated growth.

On his part, Un-Chan Chung called for an equal distribution of wealth to stop the cycle of rich getting richer and poor getting poorer.

Tony Elumelu, an entrepreneur, philanthropist and founder of The Tony Elumelu Foundation, said he believes the private sector has a role to play in Africa’s development.

“We need a strong private sector to work hand-in-hand with governments as Africa has options for its advancement,” he said, adding that: “inconsistency of policies drive away investors so African governments need to promote local entrepreneurship to attract investments.”

Cameroon’s president Paul Biya, who opened the conference attended by over 500 participants, said his country is determined to encourage private investment as Africa is progressively adapting to globalisation.

The conference ends on Wednesday, May 18, 2016.