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Business News of Tuesday, 28 May 2019


WTO can’t be blamed for Africa’s struggles – Dr. Edwini Kessie

The Director of Agriculture and Commodities at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) believes African countries still have the potential to reap rewards of being members of the institution.

On Citi TV's Point of View, Dr. Edwini Kessie said African countries must push for the desired target despite apprehension about the Bretton Woods institutions.

“Being a member of the WTO in itself is not a panacea. It very much also depends on the domestic policies, regional policies adopted by countries. One of the reasons Africa hasn’t done very well cannot be attributed solely to the WTO.”

“We need to reform, for example, in the area of agriculture which is a sector of importance in developing countries. We do have issues there which we have to address which will ensure that developing countries actually increase their exports, diversify their products and add value to their products,” he said.

Dr. Kessie also stressed that “responsibility also lies with individual governments.”

“If you look at Latin American countries or Asian developing countries, they have been able to take advantage of the WTO to increase and expand on their trade.”

Dr. Kessie added that the future is also bright because of the realisation of the Continental Free Trade Agreement.

“The continental free trade agreement which was signed, if implemented and all the countries play their role, I believe Africa would also see the benefits of trade and enhance their participation in the multilateral trading system.”