Africa must reduce the information deficit which constitutes a hindrance to development, the 2012 Economic report on Africa launched on Tuesday in Addis Ababa has said.
“Africa’s capacity to participate in the world economy and negotiate with its trade partners in a strong and well-formulated position, depends on the access that negotiators of African countries have to commercial information and the knowledge of commercial systems and their competence in trade negotiations and contract negotiations,” the report produced by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the African Union (AU) said.
Although the fast extension of the Internet and mobile telephony has started breaking this “information apartheid”, governments must do much more to facilitate access to vital economic information, the report said.
One approach would consist, according to the drafters of the report, in putting to use the knowledge and reseach capacity of universities, research institutions and think-tanks on the continent.
Private sector agents also need updated information on what the others within the regional economic communities can offer to replace imported products from developed countries.
There is also need to have the latest information concerning the rules and regulations of partner countries, products being formulated, customs duties and co-financing opportunities, the document said.