Pretoria: Building manufacturing capacity on the African continent will be on the agenda when Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies addresses the second Nigeria International Investment Forum in Lagos today.
The challenge for Africa, said Davies, was to transform the continental economy from a resource-dependent one to a diversified industrial economy.
“The continent will not harness its comparative advantage of utilising natural resources as a cornerstone of industrial development, converting comparative advantages into competitiveness, without adequate energy and other infrastructure,” he said.
Davies’s visit is also intended to promote and strengthen trade, investment and economic cooperation between the two countries, following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Economic Cooperation between South Africa and Nigeria in May 2012.
The MoU, which was signed during the Bi-National Commission held in Cape Town, makes provision for bilateral industrial cooperation in the areas of mineral beneficiation, agro-processing and pharmaceuticals; infrastructure development as well technical cooperation in the areas of standards, quality assurance and SMME development.
The forum kicked off on Wednesday and will conclude on Friday. The First Nigeria International Investors Forum held in 2010.
Meanwhile, Trade and Industry Deputy Minister Elizabeth Thabethe has urged the Cameroonian business community to forge and strengthen relations with South Africa.
“It is upon you, the business community of Cameroon, to take advantage of the opportunities that have been presented to you on the South African economy and make use of them,” she said at a trade and investment seminar in Yaound,.
Thabethe believed it was up to Africans to use the keen interest shown by the world to Africa to their advantage.
“Even the issues of food security that make world headlines can be overcome with the cooperation and partnerships that are going to be established here. Our agriculture is more of a seasonal nature whereas here in Cameroon, crops grow throughout the year. I do not see why we cannot export crops from here,” said Thabethe.