Africa-Press – Cape verde. The Commissioner of the African Union African Commissioner for Agriculture, Rural Development and Blue Economy, Josefa Correia Sacko, defended this Sunday, in Niamey, (Niger) that it is necessary to change the import invoice of products that the continent consumes and recover the market of more than 50 billion dollars a year.
Cited in a press release, the African diplomat who was speaking at the event dedicated to common African agro-parks said, “it is not fair that a continent as vast in arable land as Africa continues to import more than 20 million tons of maize, over 12 million tons of rice, and millions of tons of many other food products every year”.
“We must recover this succulent market of more than a billion dollars a year that is currently being offered to the world, and that prevents us from offering decent jobs to young Africans, who feel obliged to go and drown in the great oceans in search for a better future. This has to stop!”, he stressed.
For her, Africa has entered a very critical period in its history, and changing its course is no longer a matter of choice, but rather, “either we take its destiny in our hands, or we will continue to be a spectator of the success of other continents. Today, the Continental Free Trade area shows us which way to go towards our destination, so we have to make that choice now”, he maintained.
The ambassador stressed that the destiny of “Africa is no longer to be found in the great speeches and reports on the continent’s development, but in courageous integration actions that require the creation of more attractive structures for the large private investors for the continent’s development “.
According to the person in charge of Agriculture, Rural Development, Blue Economy and Sustainable Environment, of the African Union, the “bell” for the industrialization of Africa must ring loudly during the next 10 years, to awaken Africans to the ambitions and thus changing projections on food imports that amounted to more than 110 percent of the world’s food supply, estimated at $1 billion by 2025, according to data from the African Development Bank.
Josefa Sacko considered that the “new winds” favorable to African integration should be consolidated by a proliferation of agri-food industries in Africa to limit imports and facilitate the achievement of the objective of the 2014 Malabo declaration of “tripling African trade in products and food services”.
Despite the obstacles experienced, the ambition of the African Union Commission is to create agro-poles dominated by agricultural products specialized by zones (North, South, West and East), which will require investments in the order of “hundreds of billions of dollars to allow Africa to have trans-African areas and processed agricultural supply corridors between major cities thereby limiting Africa’s dependence on the outside world”.