A Ghanaian trade economist on Wednesday said the cooperation between Africa and China in infrastructure would boost intra-regional trade in Africa.
Abena Oduro, a trade economist at the Department of Economics with the University of Ghana, told Xinhua that the development of trade infrastructure would be critical to the success of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
She said the urgently-needed infrastructure includes railway, road, and aviation lines, particularly the rail networks, which are inadequate to facilitate the easy movement of goods and services from the various sources to diverse destinations as envisaged under the AfCFTA.
“That map shows the railway lines are like rivers coming from internal Africa to the coast. Very few of the rail lines cut across the continent. For instance, we do not have the railway lines from Accra to Togo or Accra to Cote d’Ivoire for the movement of goods,” she stated.
She believed that Africa could capitalize on foreign partners such as China for the development of these rail lines and other transportation infrastructure and the development of industries for a win-win situation.
“The Belt and Road Initiative proposed by China would help create linkages that will facilitate intra-African trade. We need railway lines that connect major African destinations and major road networks that connect major African destinations,” said Oduro.
Another area Africa could cooperate with China is industrial development for the continent’s economic growth and job creation, said Oduro. “China’s development experiences hold lessons for us to adapt to our circumstances.” Enditem