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Africa’s low global GDP contribution unacceptable, says UNECA

Africa’s low global GDP contribution unacceptable, says UNECA
November 28
15:36 2023

The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) says the continent’s low contribution to global gross domestic product (GDP) requires urgent action from stakeholders. 

Adam Elhiraika, UNECA director of macro economic policy division, spoke on Tuesday during an interview with NAN.

Elhiraika said Africa’s total contribution to global GDP is less than the continent’s global population quota, describing it as unacceptable.

“We are still exporting our resources to other continents to be processed and sent back to the continent. Our global value chain contribution is about 1.7 percent, which is very low,” the UN official said.


“Africa’s contribution to the global GDP is less than three percent, while the population is almost 18 percent of the global population. This is unacceptable.

“And I think this calls for strong and immediate action by African countries.”

Proffering solutions, Elhiraika said stronger political commitments that would translate to accelerated implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement are needed.


“For industrial development to happen, you need to have the political commitment, the development plans and strategies, and institutions that will promote industrialisation activities,” he said.

“We have the momentum and historical opportunities provided by AfCFTA and the growing integration of African economies.

“By political commitment, we refer to the need for African leaders to act on issues that do not allow free movement of people, tariff or non-tariff barriers to movement of goods and services across Africa.”

The director also urged stakeholders and leaders at all levels to collaborate in implementing decisions that would be targeted towards Africa’s industrialisation.


Established in 1958 as one of the UN’s five regional commissions, UNECA‘s mandate is to promote the economic and social development of its 54-member states, foster intra-regional integration, and promote international cooperation for Africa’s development.

In June, the UN body called for an enhancement of Africa’s regulatory framework and a reform of its global financial architecture.

The call was made after the body disclosed that Africa accounts for more than half of the world’s poor.


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