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President Cyril Ramaphosa says the African continent now wants to produce finished products that will be exported to other parts of the world. He is attending the 20th AGOA Forum at Nasrec in Johannesburg on Friday.
Africa has a large quantity of natural resources, including diamonds, gold, iron, fruits, and vegetables amongst others.
Ramaphosa says trading is part of the continent’s DNA, adding that the continent values the relationship with the US, the biggest economy in the world.
“Africa is an important source of critical raw materials but we don’t want to define it simply being the producers of commodities. The great opportunity lies in the transformation of rocks and metal that we produce into the sophisticated industrial and consumer goods needed across the world. Gone should be the days when Africa is seen as the source. We now want to produce the products. We want to earn full value for our products. It’s a journey that requires great partnerships that we should forge and we look forward to the US working with the continent to foster investment-led approach.”
The South African President has also stressed the importance of an extension or renewal of the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) for a sufficiently lengthy period of time.
He says the Forum is taking place at an important time when the continent has an enormous potential for economic growth.
“This 20th AGOA Forum is taking place at an important moment at a time when the world is facing both difficulties. Difficulties that are given rise by climate change challenges by wars, inflation in a number of countries and endemic economic growth. But we are also facing valuable opportunities. This forum is taking place on a continent of enormous potential. Africa has great endowments for the people of our continents but also the natural indolent that the world needs. We are committed to the industrialisation process of our economies and this will drive our entry into AGOA.”
Ramaphosa says it will provide an opportunity to significantly improve the lives of many Africans.
AGOA was signed into law by former United States President Bill Clinton in May 2000. It has been renewed twice and is due to expire in 2025.
Ramaphosa says Agoa acts as an incentive for investors to build new factories on the African continent, noting that the United States is working with the African continent to foster an investment-led approach that aims to use trade as an instrument to facilitate industrialisation, job creation and inclusive growth.
AGOA Forum aims to promote resilient, sustainable, and inclusive economic growth and development. It’s also a platform to discuss how to strengthen trade and investment ties between the US and sub-Saharan Africa.
Source: SABC News (sabcnews.com)