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Inadequate infrastructure hampering trade in Africa, say experts

According to experts, sub-Saharan Africa has been identified as the second fastest growing region in the world.

Picture: AFP

CAPE TOWN - A lack of adequate infrastructure is still proving to be the biggest hurdle to trade on the African continent.

This was one of the key messages from a panel discussion on the topic at a Wesgro event in Cape Town on Thursday morning.

According to experts, sub-Saharan Africa has been identified as the second fastest growing region in the world.

UCT trade professor, Faizel Ismail, says that there has been an improvement in inter-regional trade.

“Ten years ago inter-regional trade was 10%. Now, the numbers are about 18%. But of course, it’s much lower than Europe which is 60% to 70%. All trade is intra-regional.”

Ismail, as well as Wesgro's Denan Kuni, highlighted the lack of infrastructure as the largest obstacle to trade.

“There is transportation, there needs to be movement of goods across the continent.”

Ismail adds that by adopting an “Africa first” policy, companies on the continent can work together to make them stronger competitors in the global market.

(Edited by Refilwe Thobega)

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