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Integration is the Key

Dec 9, 2010, 12:24 PM

We sincerely agree with the challenge made by the Minister of Trade, Regional Integration and Employment, Yusupha Kah, to members of the private sector of The Gambia and Morocco to make the long term dream of significantly improving intra-African trade a reality, for the benefit of our peoples.

We do so because we fervently believe that Africa needs integration now than ever before, if we are to realise economic independence among the comity of nations.

It is evident that, for far too long, this continent of ours has been plagued by wars and conflicts, coupled with the spate of poverty, diseases and underdevelopment.

In making a comparison of the continent with other parts of the world, one would not lose sight of the fact that Africa, in terms of natural resources, is substantially rich.

Perhaps what is lacking is the knowhow to exploit those resources for the betterment of our people.

In the words of Trade Minister Kah, the Gambian private sector has beneficial lessons to learn from the Moroccan experience.

As he stated, “In The Gambia, we are still grappling with quality assurance issues that seriously limit our export potentials generally”.

Kah was speaking at the opening of a day-long symposium of the third edition of the Moroccan export caravan to Africa held at the Sheraton Hotel Tuesday.

Many a time, people ask whether the 53 countries in Africa are ready to compete with the likes of China, America, Europe or the Indians.

The answer is quite evident: unless and until we Africans discard regionalism, and focus on uniting the continent we will not make headway.

Several overlapping regional groupings throughout the continent are trying to knit their economies closer together, but the pace and extent of integration is slower than our hopes.

Moreover, we as Africans must get rid of corruption and all scourges bedevilling the continent, and come together for the betterment of our dear people.

Marches alone won’t bring integration when human respect is disintegrating”
Barry McGuire