A former UK Prime Minister, Tony Blair, has urged African countries to consider adding value to their products for maximum benefit from their natural resources.
He made the remarks on Tuesday in Kigali, Rwanda during the ongoing Africa Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) 2022 Summit.
The summit which was attended by leaders from governments, businesses, civil society, international organizations alongside innovators, financiers, experts, scientists, entrepreneurs, and youth sought to define game-changing solutions toward a food-secure Africa and food systems that deliver for people.
Blair spoke after President Emmerson Mnangagwa had delivered his speech in which he articulated his Afro-vison towards creating food self-sufficiency. He said:
The president of Zimbabwe made a very important point a moment ago. He does so much work for Agriculture all over the continent of Africa. Thanks so much for your leadership…
We have the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, it’s a massive thing. The World Bank estimates that by 2035 we could increase the money in GDP in Africa by $450 million if we manage to apply the principles of that agreement properly.
It is crazy that we’ve restrictions on agricultural goods shifting across frontiers within Africa. It’s not just about finding markets outside, lets find markets inside. We need to focus on agro-processing much the work we do in countries you discover countries producing raw materials, it could be cotton…. and yet the finished product is made somewhere else. So the commodities are exported raw, the value is added elsewhere and often they find their way back into the country the value having been gained by someone else.
Watch the video posted by the Ofice of the President and Cabinet, Zimbabwe