Zambia’s Fourth President , His Excellency, Mr. Rupiah Bwezani Banda says the on-going trade wars between the Western countries and China meant to impose barriers on trade have major implications on Africa’s economic growth.
Speaking during a special High Level Stakeholders Appreciation and Engagement dinner on the occasion of the 135th Trade and Development Bank Board of Directors meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the former President said the global economy too is likely to experience a period of sluggish trade, with risks of further slowing down as a result of the trade wars.
Prominent among the people who attended the dinner where Former Ethiopian Prime Minister Desalegn Haile Mariam, Ethiopian Minister of Finance and Economy, Ahmed Shide, Ethiopia’s First Female Chief Justice Meaza Ashenafi , National Bank of Ethiopia Governor Abdallah Hamdok and Abdallah Hamdok, a member of the TDB eminent panel of experts.
Mr. Banda co-chairs the Eminent Panel of Experts on the TDB board with the President of Seychelles, Mr. Danny Faure.
The Former President emphasised the need for African countries to reduce its dependence on exports of primary products but add value to products and improve the diversification of its economies.
Mr. Banda said faster integration of African economies focused on inter-African Trade, removing barriers to mobility of persons and capital investing in infrastructure was one sure way of guaranteeing the continents economic growth.
He urged African Union Member states to embrace the Continental Free Trade area (CFTA), the Tripartite Agreement between COMESA, SADC and EAC which is expected to trade from Cape town to Cairo.
The Former President further urged African countries to come up with export processing Zones like the Lusaka Multi Facility Economic Zone which was focused on producing clean energy while at the same time promoting tourism through a National game reserve linked to the facility.
On the Trade and Development Bank, Mr. Banda said the bank was actively engaged in the African Trade space with the total asset base amounting to US$ 5.4 million as of 30th December, 2017.
And Mr. Banda commended the government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia for the young and dynamic leadership that has embraced gender parity.
He said Africa was watching with great interest the transformation that was taking part in Ethiopia.
The 135th Trade and Development Bank meeting is being held under the theme’’ Integrating and Advancing the region’s economies.’’
Inutu Mupango Mwanza (Mrs)
First Secretary (Press &Tourism)
Zambia Embassy, Addis Ababa