African governments need to keep investing in measures aimed at promoting free trade on the continent as doing so is vital for continent’s growth, Zambian experts said on Thursday.
The experts hold that free trade not only facilitates economic growth but also allows the building of stronger partnerships and greater understanding, which according to them, is essential for growth.
“The era of protectionist attitudes is long gone. We need to fully embrace the idea of opening up if the continent is to register significant economic growth,” said Sande Ngalande, executive director, University of Zambia Belt and Road Joint Research Center.
Ngalande added that China provides great lessons about how opening up markets can help to boost the economy of a nation.
And Rose Fumpa-Makano, a lecturer and researcher with the Copperbelt University’s Dag Hammarskjold Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies, noted that protectionist measures only work to retard economic growth but opening up helps a country to benefit from the growth of other countries.
“The idea of opening up also works to ensure distribution and sharing of benefits arising from economic growth from one country to another, something that protectionist measures fail to offer,” said Fumpa-Makano.