Tuesday, November 4, 2008

African countries urged to find alternative markets

African countries including Uganda have been called upon to search for alternative markets if they are to avoid loosing out on export revenue due to the financial crisis in the US and other western countries.

As the credit crunch hits markets in US and other western countries hard, it has emerged that developing countries will suffer from reduced exports to these countries. Most African countries like Uganda export to the US and European countries.

Prof. Jeffrey Sachs, a United Nations Economic Advisor told a meeting of economists and government officials from across Africa that it is important for African countries to look for alternative markets in China and Middle East in order to ensure they continue to have adequate market for their exports.

The meeting in Kampala is organized by the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) and hosted by the Bank of Uganda.

Prof. Sachs says China has emerged as a strong market and many countries in the Middle East could provide the market that most Africa countries need for their products.

The meeting also called for technological advancement to ensure African businesses can compete in production and marketing of goods and services.

The bank was formed in 1993 by African governments, African private and institutional investors as well as non-African financial institutions and private investors to improve intra and extra African trade.

Apart from discussing ways of improving African export and import trade, the bank used the Kampala meeting as its annual General meeting for the shareholders.

The General meeting was opened today by President Yoweri Museveni who reiterated his call for African countries to add value to their exports and to do more trade with each other.