The African Union Commission (AUC) held a roundtable discussion focused on the impact of drought, floods and declining commodity prices in Africa led by AUC Chairperson Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma.
Prices have recently drastically declined for many commodities produced and exported by most African countries. As these countries’ economies are heavily dependent on exports, the AUC is worried. The situation has been exacerbated by widespread and prolonged drought that has affected the agricultural production in the region.
“Africa’s economies cannot be resilient if not diversified, our products are not competitive if not processed …there are many more factors to consider,” Dlamini Zuma said.
Zuma believes the countries must analyze how and why they are still vulnerable to weather fluctuations and learn what they must do to build resilience in Africa’s agricultural products with the ultimate goal of making them more competitive in global trade.
“Africa must defend and expand investments in education, skills and science technology to further boost the economic growth of the continent," Zuma said.
In attendance were Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, economist and former Finance Minister of Nigeria; Mohamed Beavogui, U.N. assistant Secretary-General and director of the African Risk Capacity; and AUC commissioners, ministers and representative from member states.