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Mahama pushes for intra-Africa trade

Dec. 5, 2017, 12:51 p.m.

Former President John Dramani Mahama has called on African countries to open up their borders to promote intra-Africa trade.

Mr Mahama, who says African countries have most of the world resources, believes free flow of goods and services across borders will spur economic growth.

“Ghana has great potential. We have about one-third of the world’s mineral resources. We have 400 million hectares of the world’s available arable lands, and, so, can you imagine if 50 per cent of this arable lands are under cultivation, we will not only feed Africa, we will probably feed the rest of the world but certainly one thing that is in our hand is the low value of trade among ourselves.

“The difficulty of opening up our borders to trading among ourselves is just one that cannot be understood… If we must remove some of the challenges Africa faces, then let us open our borders and allow our people to move freely, allow goods and services to move freely across the continent,” he said during a speech to commemorate the adoption of the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance in Pretoria, South Africa on Monday, December 4.

He lauded the spread and practice of democracy on the continent but noted that “growth is not fast enough to keep ahead of the rate of population, but if we don’t accelerate the pace of economic growth and throw up the essential jobs that will keep the youth engaged then we will have the kind of situation where our young people will be struggling to cross the Sahara and being auctioned as slaves like in Libya, where people are trying to cross the Mediterranean, and so in that regard, we need to look at how we manage our economies”.

The Experts’ seminar is being organized by the African Union and the South African Government to commemorate the 10th year of the adoption of the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance (ACDEG).