How do improve African manufacturing to become competitive in the global economy?
Muthoni NjeruStudent-Economics and Statistics
one basic rule:- STOP EXPORTING RAW PRODUCTS AND IMPORTING THE FINISHED GOODS. Africa has an aggregate import export ratio of approximately 5:1. this is because a majority of the goods we import are made by the goods we export, thus we buy the value added price yet we are the original producers. for example, we produce 50% of the world's Gold, a large chunk of the world's agricultural products, we have vast mineral deposits but nothing to show for it for they are in their crude forms

It would take a drastic turn to reverse the above ratio and one way of doing this is by following various models set out by the world. during the Cold war, China developed it's internal market to allow a basic grip of the citizens by developing their own products and selling them to their own people, and since they have 1/6th of the worlds population, they were eventually able to expand and compete with US and other developed nations.

Well, individual African nations might not have the consumer base that is very much enjoyed by Chinese companies, but as a block we can manage that. by breaking in through the trading blocks, we can maximize on the market that Africa readily offers and reduce the importation of finished goods.

In addition develop nationalistic policies that promote the upgrading of local industries. a majority of these manufacturing industries are headed by foreigners and the Africans in these organizations have no access to trainings on the mechanisms and modalities utilized by the technological manufacturing plans, they are simply part of the system. Their role press a certain button and watch the machine run. In case of a malfunction, once again foreigners come to repair the machines so the locals never have the opportunity to learn of the basic functions of a machine, not to mention assembled one, hence they do not know how to run them.

legislation should be passed in the African Union that would address this issue, as many of the African countries are pertinent to international laws and treaties passed that they are pertinent to.

finally, it always goes back to the literacy level. when the African farmer undergoes training in his cooperative team that would teach them how to process coffee and sell the roasted beans, then showing them how that would be more beneficial, it would boost our competitiveness. in addition, by increasing the literate members of our society, we will not only get good governance for our nation but also for the various structures that constitute the manufacturing industry.
Aug 07, 2012
Very, very well said! - BreeAna Jones 7 years

Stephanie ZigheCommunications Specialist

Value addition involves machinery and technical skills which many small scale enterprenuers may not have. Inclusive of challenges in funding, it is almost impossible to find cheap machines (locally made) and one has to import from developed Countries. Supply of the raw product has also become a challenge with global changes in the environment, poor soil management etc. Laslty, local marketing is still a challenge- not many populations use new technologies though safaricom MPesa has given tools that could brigde this gap.

Aug 28, 2012
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