President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said that Africa is poised now more than ever to look within as it looks forward to industrializing its economies.
He stated that the onslaught of the Covid-19 pandemic and the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war has renewed the continent’s commitment toward self-reliance.
Addressing the United Nations General Assembly, on Wednesday, 21st September, in New York, President Akufo-Addo urged African leaders not to waste the opportunity that the twin crisis has presented.
He highlighted that the Russia-Ukraine war in particular should teach the continent not to rely on food imports but rather resort to cultivating its arable lands.
He mentioned, however, that Africa on it own cannot embark on a solo journey of industrialization and emphasized that the continent needs global investors, as much as the investors need Africa.
President Akufo-Addo made this comment while praising Dr. Kwame Nkrumah for his vision of a ‘United States of Africa’.
“Incidentally, 2022 is billed as Africa’s Year to take action on food and nutrition development goals. We see the current geopolitical crisis as an opportunity to rely less on food imports from outside the continent and use better our sixty per cent global share of arable lands to increase food production.
“We have seen the devastating impact of relying on Russia and Ukraine for seventy per cent of our wheat consumption. We have enough land, enough water, enough gas and enough manpower to produce enough fertiliser, food and energy for ourselves and for others,” the president said.
“But, we also recognise that we cannot do it all by ourselves. Our message to the global investor community is, therefore, this: Africa is ready for business. Africa needs you and you need Africa. You need Africa because Africa is busily building the world’s largest single market of 1.3 billion people.
“Soon we will have a customs union, and soon we will have a continental payment system that will accelerate and facilitate trade amongst ourselves. Already, goods and services are flowing more freely across our artificial borders. See Africa for what it is: the new frontier for manufacturing, for technology, for food production,” Akufo-Addo stressed.