Global Trade: Africa must add value to compete – Okonjo Iweala, WTO DG

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The Director General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Okonjo Iweala, has said the path to Africa competitiveness trade-wise is to add value to what it produces through quality manufacturing processes before exporting. The trade organisation director made this point in a recent interview.

According to Iweala, the WTO prioritises fairness in trading transactions amongst member countries. Being at the helms of affair in the organisation provided credible insights into why African continues to experience imbalance trading with other countries of the world and what must be done to improve the current unfavourable market relationships.

She said, “With the World Trade Organization, countries that are members agreed beforehand that there are tariffs we are going to charge when goods arrive in our different countries.”

Regarding Africa’s trading position, “Africa’s trade with the world has remained at three per cent for many years now and that is not good enough.

But is it because of WTO trade or something else going on there that we need to think about? As an African, I have to tell you that in order to trade more or with other countries within the continent you need to add value to your products.”

She explained, “If you keep exporting the same products you have been exporting for decades, primary products which are vulnerable to price versatility in the world, you are not going to capture a large portion of the market.”

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Toyin Afilaka
Toyin Afilaka
Toyin Afilaka writes with simplicity and insight. He aims to enrich the Nigerian small business landscape. Through Hustle24 he connects entrepreneurs with information about new policies, enterprise solutions and opportunities that will aid their 'hustle'. He has written extensively for CobraReview, a product review portal, and served as a lead project manager for MarketingMix where he consulted as PR consultant for MTN Project Fame and Business Next Titan etc.

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