Former President John Dramani Mahama has lamented the over-reliance on foreigners for commodities including rice by African countries.
He said Africa must push for self-reliance for key strategic commodities and supplies.
Speaking at the 24th African Business Conference organized by the Harvard Business School, Mr. Mahama said “We must push for self-reliance for key strategic commodities and supplies such as rice, tomatoes, onions, and vegetable oil for which we have comparative advantage. It is such a shame that Africa continues to import these commodities when we have favourable conditions to produce them.”
He further suggested that Africa must have absolute control of trade and processing of natural resources.
”Africa must take greater control of the trade and processing of its natural resources like cocoa, and the minerals and build stronger capacity to respond to global energy shocks stemming out of situations such as the Russia-Ukraine conflict.”
“Many African countries, including Ghana have reached debt distressed levels with debt to GDP ratio ranging between 70% and 80%.”
”I am advocating for a reconstitution of the Debt Service Suspension Initiative to offer our countries some fiscal space to make investments in critical states such as education and health.”