7 September 2017

Africa: Falling Commodity Prices Not Good for Africa - AU Chair

The Economic Committee of the African Union (AU) has expressed worry about falling prices of commodities on the world market, which he said is likely to affect African economies.

The union wants African governments to add value to their raw materials in order to shield itself from shocks of falling prices of commodities. Energy commodity prices rose by 4.4 per cent in August this year while non-energy prices rose 1.3 percent. Prices of food and beverages, however, fell by 3.4 percent in August 2017.

Crude oil prices have remained unstable since the beginning of the year, with a barrel, currently selling at 56 dollars. Commenting on the trend, Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Quartey Thomas Kwesi, underscored the need for African producers add value to their raw materials to remain competitive on the international market.

"It is very important for manufactures and producers to remain competitive on the world market. It is time we add value to our raw materials so we can be shielded by the shocks that come from falling commodity prices on the world market", he stressed. He said this at the opening of the 26th annual meeting of the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) board of governors.

The two-day conference was themed "building capacity and mobilizing resources for Africa's transformation". He said there is the need to build the capacity of the youth who form the majority of the continents population. "Let us build the capacity of our young people. Let us empower them.

The youth form a majority of our population and we have to ensure their abilities are developed to take over, when we are no more", he added.

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