September 13, 2017
Source: Norvan Acquah-Hayford l thebftonline l Ghana
The Minister of Trade and Industry, Alan Kyerematen, has said that based on the increasing population growth and fast rising middle-class, Africa is favourably positioned to become the world’s largest consumer market by 2050.
“Africa is destined by 2050 to become the largest consumer market in the world. I say this for a number of reasons. When you talk about market size, you are basically looking at three things, which are: population size, purchasing power of the population and the propensity to consume. If you combine all these three factors and you look at our circumstance in Africa, you would appreciate why am saying this.
By 2050 Africa would be probably be almost 3 billion in population out of a total projected population of 9.7 billion in the whole world. And Africa is the fastest growing in terms of population size. But we also know that markets are not just about population or people. That is why I talked about purchasing power. Purchasing power comes from the growth that we have in the middle class.
And because Africa is the fastest growing continent, we also have the fastest growing middle class. So, when I talk about purchasing power, you must appreciate why Africa would become the biggest or largest consumer market in the world. But is also about the propensity to consume.”
Mr. Kyerematen was speaking at the 2017 African Prosperity Conference organized by the Pan African Chamber of Commerce and Industry under the auspices of the Ghana Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Accra on the theme; “The continental free trade area – Exploring possibilities for business engagements across Africa.”
The Trade Minister further urged African countries to take advantage of continental trade, as it has contributed to the growth of many economies in the world.
“There is evidence that many countries have used the regional markets as stepping stone unto the global markets and so we should not be surprised to find that, most of the world advance nations are also part of the most integrated regional economies. This is a message for us to understand and appreciate the continent.
This is the reason why we must take advantage of our own market we have created and start serious trading amongst ourselves, by producing what we consume and also consume what we produce. We must believe that this enterprise and agenda of free trade will work,” he maintained.
The 18th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union, held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in January 2012, adopted a decision to establish a Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) by an indicative date of 2017.
This, Mr. Kyerematen advised that, for the continent to successfully implement and fully benefit from the free trade programme, all African governments must have an industrialsation agenda in place, set up the necessary infrastructure and improve facilitation mechanisms.
President of the Pan African Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Ghana Chamber of Commerce and Indsutry, Dr. Nana Appiagyei Dankawoso I, expressed optimism about the growth of the continent, urging governments to stay committed to the agenda.
“My message is simple; Africa has come a long way in a short time and there is every reason to believe that it can continue growing and developing with the appropriate policy response,” he said.