US urged to invest in Africa
Speaking in Washington DC in the US during the ongoing Agoa 2010 Summit, Comesa Secretary General, Sindiso Ngwenya, and the Alliance for Commodity Trade in Eastern and Southern Africa (ACTESA) CEO, Dr Cris Muyunda, made earnest appeals to US investors to invest in Africa.
Ngwenya said Africa has potential to produce enough food for internal needs and international trade.
The Comesa region brings together 19 member states including, Burundi, Comoros, D.R. Congo and Djibouti.
Others are Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sudan, Swaziland, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
During a panel presentation entitled, ‘Food Security: opportunities for Africa' Ngwenya said the African market provided an opportunity for growth in agricultural development and trade.
"We can produce enough for our needs and for the rest of the world as long as challenges facing the farmers are dealt with" he said.
Ngwenya said in 20 years, Africa's collective GDP would be US$2.6 trillion, its consumer spending US$1.4 trillion, the number of Africans of working age would be 1.1 billion, with 50% of Africans living in cities by 2030.
He further said regional integration through the tripartite COMESA, East African Community (EAC) and the Southern Africa Development Cooperation (SADC) agreement had created a bigger market which should be exploited.
The Secretary General said COMESA was addressing the challenges to agricultural development like infrastructure, technology and market related constraints through the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP.