Africa faces many chal­lenges: Economists

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TU­NIS

The African con­ti­nent faces many se­ri­ous chal­lenges in or­der to achieve suc­cess­ful re­gional in­te­gra­tion and ben­e­fit from the ad­van­tages that re­sult. This was the rec­om­men­da­tion of a panel of ex­pert economists speak­ing on Day 3 of the seventh African Eco­nomic Con­fer­ence on Thurs­day in Ki­gali, Rwanda.

Dur­ing a dis­cus­sion or­ga­nized in par­al­lel with the panAfrican gath­er­ing, par­tic­i­pants were of the opin­ion that African coun­tries needed to adopt a se­ries of strate­gies which would lead to the im­ple­men­ta­tion of sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment and re­gional in­te­gra­tion.

Si­mon Mevel, ex­pert econ­o­mist at the United Nations Eco­nomic Com­mis­sion for Africa (UNECA), said ef­forts at re­gional in­te­gra­tion in Africa have been par­tic­u­larly ham­pered by the im­pact of trans­port costs on ex­port op­tions, which is not the same for ev­ery coun­try. Mevel was speak­ing dur­ing a ses­sion on the theme of Strength­en­ing re­gional in­te­gra­tion in Africa. In his view, this phe­nom­e­non is es­pe­cially ap­par­ent in cases where a sig­nif­i­cant pro­por­tion of do­mes­tic prod­ucts are still sub­ject to in­ten­sive lev­els of trade, to the detri­ment of im­ported prod­ucts.

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