Saturday, February 24, 2024

Nigeria, Angola To Strengthen Trade Ties

As Africa continues to seek ways to boost intra-Africa trade, the need to address trade barriers and streamline visa processes has been emphasised to foster smoother trade ties between Nigeria and Angola.

The President, Angola-Nigeria Business Council, Fifi Ejindu, stressed this at the Angola-Nigeria Diplomatic-Business Investment meeting in Lagos, South West Nigeria as she emphasised that more active and creative economic and commercial relations between the two countries, reinforces the potential for progress for mutual benefits.

Ejindu said that “the engagement of Nigerian investors and the anticipated business activations in Angola indicated growing interest and participation in the trade initiatives discussed.”

Also speaking, Angola’s Former Minister of Finance, Dr Armando Manuel, explained that the positive assessment of the recent diplomatic-business investment meeting shows the fruitful nature of the discussions and the potential for tangible outcomes in the near future.

“We are awaiting Nigerian investors to come to Angola because we already have the expertise in various sectors. We are talking about opportunities in pharmaceutical sector, agriculture and others, because our population is growing, while food security is a sort of concern. Angola has interesting policies to nurture investment in agriculture in terms of poultry, feed mill, soya beans, sorghum, maize and some cash crops such as cotton,” Manuel explained.

Nigeria’s Former President Olusegun Obasanjo who was a special guest of honour at the event, called for strong economic ties between Nigeria, and Angola.

According to him, the meeting emphasises the need to boost trade volume within Africa, which reflects a commitment to advancing economic partnerships on the continent.

Obasanjo further expressed concerns about infrastructural deficits, particularly in transportation and highlighted the challenges that needed to be addressed to facilitate seamless trade between nations.

“Attention should be on African countries’ benefits from their own products, as it aligns with the goal of promoting intra-African trade and economic self-sufficiency. We are still battling with high deficit in transportation. For instance, moving goods from two countries; Congo DR and Congo Brazzaville is still a problem. We need to solve this challenges of moving goods around. One of the things the leaders of the post independence achieved is to promote African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AFCFTA),” he said.

For his part, the Secretary, National Action Committee of AFCFTA, Nigeria, Olusegun Awolowo, said the lack of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) between Nigeria and Angola underscored the untapped potential for economic engagement between the two largest oil exporters in Africa.

“Sadly, there is no Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) between Nigeria and Angola. This means trade between the two biggest oil exporters is zero, and this is not good enough. Angola is importing from the rest of the world what it can actually get from Nigeria and Nigeria doing likewise, we should trade between ourselves. Comparatively, we supply what they don’t have and they also supply what we don’t have. Former President Obasanjo has mentioned some areas that need more collaboration. It’s true we have some infrastructural deficits which both government and the private organisations can also latch on to invest.”

The meeting focused on the potential for enhanced collaboration between the two countries.

The event organised by the Embassy of Angola, in collaboration with the Angola-Nigeria Business Council, aimed to promote commercial cooperation and relaunch sustainable bases for strengthening economic ties.

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