African countries should strive to strengthen trade relations within and outside the continent because doing so will bring about the needed economic freedoms and transformation on the continent, a development expert said on Thursday.
Fumpa-Makano, a lecturer and researcher with Copperbelt University’s Dag Hammarskjold Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies, urged African governments to ensure that the much talked about industrialization programs are implemented, adding that this will increase trade opportunities on the continent.
“Strengthening trade relations not only brings about economic growth but also promotes greater understanding among peoples of different backgrounds and enhances relations,” she said.
Fumpa-Makano also emphasized the need to accelerate the industrialization process noting that doing so would create more employment and business opportunities in Africa and enhance intercontinental trade.
“It is time to industrialize and grow the manufacturing sector. Africa has much of what is required to be economically vibrant. In the case of Zambia, there is a lot of potential and opportunities in the agriculture sector,” she said.
According to her, agriculture, particularly food production and processing offers sustainable employment as well business opportunities because of the nature of the sector and processes involved as.
“Compared to other industries that depend on depleting natural resources, agriculture can provide the most sustainable employment opportunities. In between production and consumption is a mirage of activities that businesses can benefit from,” Fumpa-Makano said. Enditem