African countries urged to take control of their destinies

30 October 2014

The power was ultimately in the hands of each individual African country to take control of its destiny, as the US had done, US Secretary of Treasury Jacob Lew,

Engineering News reports.

Addressing delegates at the Gordon Institute of Business Science (Gibs), in Sandton, he said countries such as South Africa had to take steps to build institutions in their own economies, as well as build trust and cooperation for these institutions to work.

“There is a path here for many countries in the region to do better, but the challenge [lies in] taking on domestic hurdles that are difficult and that reflect old ways of doing business,” he said.

Countries should work on strengthening their own economies to combat the effects of a strong dollar. A combination of fiscal and structural policies was needed to ensure a stronger domestic economy.

Lew stated that South Africa’s National Development Plan did address most of these issues; however, the challenge would now be to effectively implement this policy.
Responding to questions about statistics showing that trade between the US and Africa had declined between 2011 and 2013, while trade between China and Africa had increased, he said: “It is not a question of should we be here [or] should China be here. We both should be here. There are good reasons for both countries to be investing in the continent’s development.”

By: Leandi Kolver

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