BY Dikachi Elemba
Mansur Ahmed, president of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) and the interim chairman of the Pan African Manufacturers Association (PAMA), has called on members of PAMA to work together and collaborate to empower the private sector and create a system of interaction that will act as a catalyst to the growth of investments in Africa.
Ahmed said the major imports of countries in Africa are manufactured goods and that about two percent of the intra-African trade is in manufactured goods and emphasised on the reasons behind the formation of PAMA.
According to him, with the establishment of PAMA and the AfCFTA, he said that the widening gap between imported products and those manufactured within would be bridged.
Mansur, however, stated that the economies of the continent should be focused mainly on manufacturing, and to create capacity, expand the scope for value addition, and integrate Africa’s manufacturing so that Africa can achieve economies of scale.
He enjoined manufacturers to ensure they prioritise the areas of comparative advantage to achieve the required industrial transformation.
Mansur emphasised on pharmaceuticals, automotive industry, agri-manufacturing, steel and metals to work together in collaboration and or partnerships, and explore integrated manufacturing.
Amany Asfour, president of the African Business Council (ABC), disclosed that the purpose of the establishment of PAMA is to see that Africans drive their economy by themselves and that the private sector should put a collaborative effort by way of advocacy which could enhance Africa’s gains of the trade agreement.