Nigeria’s Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has called on African countries to diversify their economies in order to overcome the prevailing global economic uncertainties.
The Minister spoke against the background of the current global economic uncertainties, which have already caused a downward review of the growth forecast of world economy to 3.3% for 2014 and 3.8% for 2015.
According to the private Guardian newspaper on Monday, the Minister said, at a public lecture in the capital city of Abuja over the weekend, that the global uncertainties provide great opportunities for African countries to diversify their economies and reduce their dependence on the West.
”The outlook on the African economy, though bright, can even be much better. We need to look inward for home grown solutions and work harder to break the cycle of dependence on advanced economies,” she said.
In addition to other home grown challenges, the economic of sub-Saharan African nations face difficult times.
According to the statistics released by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), sub-Saharan Africa’s economy, dominated by commodity exports as the main source of revenue, records a very high ratio of commodity exports to total merchandise exports.
The ratio ranges from 60% in South Africa, to 89% in Zambia and Ghana, 96% in Democratic Republic of Congo, while in Nigeria, crude oil exports alone accounted for about 83% of the value of total exports in 2013.
“Amid these challenges, Africa has a real chance and a real opportunity to position itself well in these uncertain times by continuing those policies that it has implemented well and looking at innovative ways to diversify its economy and create wealth for those at the bottom end of the ladder,” she added.