- May 7, 2020
- Posted in LOCAL
Former Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga has said that the post-COVID-19 era should teach Africa to be innovative and business-minded that it won’t export raw minerals but processed ones.
By Rudairo Mapuranga
Speaking through his official Twitter handle the High Representative for Infrastructure Development in Africa said although on paper Africa is the richest continent, the reality is the saddest one which needs to be addressed.
“Africa is the richest continent on earth with regard to raw materials.
The paradox is that it is also the poorest in terms of the living conditions of its people.” He said.
The former Kenyan head of cabinet said that Africa instead of exporting raw minerals and importing processed ones, it should start to export minerals in their processed form.
“Instead of exporting iron ore, copper ore, bauxite, we must export steel products, copper cables, bars, sheets and aluminium.
Even gold, diamonds and crude oil should never leave Africa as raw materials for industry in other continents.
Africa has a historic opportunity, born out of historic tragedy, to put an end to our tradition of importing everything and producing nothing.” Odinga Said.
According to Odinga, the post-Corona Virus pandemic era should awaken Africa from being a consumer to a producer.
“The post-COVID-19 era creates opportunities for job creation in manufacturing, service sector including ICT, food production and infrastructure development.” He said.
As the calls for processing of raw materials get louder in 2015 a Congolese researcher Kambalé Mirembe made similar points during an address, also highlighting dependency on raw materials as a source of vulnerability. In his presentation, entitled “Does growth contribute to development?”, he pointed to the stable macro-economic situation in his home country, the Democratic Republic of Congo. The figures show that, despite an average growth rate of 5% over the last five years, predicted growth in the region of 8.4% in 2015, and an abundance of mining resources, inequality remains persistent in DRC.
As well as stressing the importance of local processing, Mirembe also called on all countries that receive an income from mining activities to come together to form a dedicated grouping similar to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), with a view to influencing global prices and markets for these materials. “Why has nobody considered this before?” he asked.