Abuja - Africa's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) slipped from 5.4 percent in
2012 to 4.1 percent in 2013.
Abdalla Hamdok, the Deputy Executive Secretary, Economic Commission for
Africa (ECA) made the disclosure at the opening of the 7th African
Union-ECA Joint Annual Meeting in Abuja.
He said the drop was occasioned by weakened global demand for goods and
services arising from financial and debt crisis in Europe, as well as
stunted growth in some emerging economies.
Other factors which accounted for the GDP decrease, he added, include
political instability and civil unrest in many major commodity-producing
The ECA boss pointed out that African growth had continued to depend on
high commodity demand and prices in the international market, as well
as domestic demand as a result of rising income.
He, however, noted that the continent's growth potential remained
largely untapped, saying it could be fostered by policies that stimulate
aggregate demand and trade among the nations.
He emphasised that “political instability and disruptions in oil production
adversely affected growth in Africa's major oil-producing economies.
“Nevertheless, oil-exporting countries remained among the leading drivers of
Africa's growth in 2013, with oil alone contributing about 24 per cent of the
Hamdok stressed the need for Africa to design and implement strategies
aimed at reducing its dependency on primary commodities and redistribute its
resources toward employment-generating activities.
He said Africa's path to development should focus on commodity-based
industrialisation, especially in developing a manufacturing sector
that was interlinked with other sectors of the economy to enhance
competitiveness of African economies in global market.
He added that growth on the continent in 2013 was also buttressed by
increased agricultural output “on the back of favourable weather conditions in
Agricultural productivity on the continent could be leveraged by industrial
policy as an additional essential component of structural transformation, he
He disclosed that one of the reasons behind the reluctance of African
countries to sign and ratify international conventions and agreements on trade
facilitation was the lack of conviction.
According to him, ECA has been working in close collaboration with the AU
Commission to study the impact of introducing trade facilitation measures on
He said that the measures were aimed at simplifying customs procedures and
reducing clearance time for intra-African trade in the context of continental
Free Trade Area. -
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