Focus on exporting finished products, Ruto to African countries

DP Ruto speaking at the Universal Health Coverage for Africa meeting at TICAD VI forum at KICC, Nairobi. [Photo/DPPS]

Deputy President William Ruto has called on African countries to drive growth by exporting more finished products instead of raw materials.

Ruto said time was ripe for the continent to make use of its resources and stop relying on direct aid from donors.

He said there is need for African countries to discourage themselves from exporting raw materials and create value chains that will lead to the exportation of finished goods.

The Deputy President said African countries should invest in creating industries, building up skills and technologies aimed at producing high-quality products for export as well as local use.

“By investing in agro-processing, value addition and manufacturing, we will be able to address the challenge of jobs, thus creating income for our people,” said Ruto.

“As a continent we should do more to ensure we export finished goods from the raw materials we possess,” he added.

He spoke during the signing of memorandum of understanding between 22 African companies and Japanese.

Mr Ruto said the continent was endowed with rich natural resources that could transform the lives of the people if fully exploited.

“Our region has abundant resources, which instead of being sold in raw form must be exploited and beneficiated to add value to the products which we export,” he said.

The Deputy President said the Tokyo International Conference on Africa Development (TICAD) focused on how to develop Africa’s infrastructure, energy production, improve health, ensuring security and looking for ways of ensuring social security in the African Continent.

He said the construction of the Standard Gauge Railway was one of the efforts that would help ease movement of goods and services among people of Eastern and Central Africa.

The Deputy President said the signing of the tripartite agreement will boost trade and remove tariffs and non-tariff barriers.

Mr Ruto said regional integration led by the private sector was a powerful vehicle for boosting growth, creating jobs and promoting economic development.

“Enabling the private sector and policymakers to take advantage of trade opportunities is at the heart of what this TICAD aims to achieve,” said Mr Ruto.

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