Africa demands fairer, transparent global trading system – Chronicle

The Chronicle

Prosper Ndlovu, Business Editor

AFRICAN private sector leaders have called for a more transparent and fairer global trading system that supports growth of developing economies.

While optimistic about the future outlook, economic experts from the continent feel that gaps in international trade governance are undermining developing nations, Africa in particular.

According to a survey of 200 chief executive officers (CEO)s) that was commissioned by the Pan-African Private Sector Trade and Investment Committee (PAFRAC), and conducted by the African Business magazine in partnership with the Afreximbank, private sector leaders are concerned about the seemingly biased global trade operational environment. PAFRAC shared the survey outcome in a recent press statement.

It noted that in the survey, African CEOs have explicitly called for a fairer system governing global trade that will support developing countries. About 37 percent of the CEOs surveyed felt that the World Trade Organisation (WTO), as it stands, was ineffective with 65 percent suggesting that the global trading system was unfair to Africa.

The CEOs were, however, optimistic about the future outlook with 50 percent of them convinced that global trade will increase over the next 12 months. Despite economic challenges facing Africa, a majority of survey participants actually believe that intra-Africa trade will increase over the next 12 months, said PAFRAC.

The survey was done in view of the next phase of on-going consultations to select the WTO next director general. Three of the eight candidates are African: Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Kenya’s